U.S. reveals World Cup qualifying roster
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has included mainstay Landon Donovan as well as newcomers John Brooks and Aron Johannsson in his 23-man squad for September's World Cup qualifying matches.
Brooks and Johannsson both have dual citizenship. Brooks, a defender who has played in friendlies with the Germany under-21 team, would be officially tied to the United States if he appears in a qualifying match.
Johannsson, a forward, needed to appeal to FIFA to play for the U.S. because he had previously appeared in official games with Iceland's under-21 team.
Both players made their debut with the U.S. national team this month in a friendly victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Donovan also returns to the U.S. roster. Donovan missed the past 10 qualifying matches but was named the Gold Cup's top player this summer.
The U.S., riding a 12-game winning streak, begins in Costa Rica on Sept. 6, where it has never won, and then plays Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 10.
"The Costa Rica game in San Jose is the biggest game in 2013 for all of us because we want to win there," Klinsmann said. "We want to qualify as soon as possible for the World Cup in Brazil. We want to get the first-ever three points in World Cup qualifying in Costa Rica.
"Everyone needs to understand there will be a lot of tension. We need to be very well prepared mentally and physically and give them a real game. And if you look at the quality of our roster and our players, we have the quality to get the three points."
The Americans, who lead the final CONCACAF qualifying group, will clinch a spot at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Sept. 6 if they beat Costa Rica, Mexico draws with Honduras, and Panama fails to beat Jamaica.
U.S. captain Clint Dempsey will earn his 100th cap in the next game he plays.
Johannsson made the roster over San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski, who excelled at the Gold Cup with 5 goals. Also omitted from the team were Terrence Boyd, Joe Corona, Clarence Goodson, Sacha Kljestan, Michael Parkhurst and Jose Torres.
The full roster:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)