With the new month coming up, the United States men's national team go into the final matches for qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with two games left in what is known as the final round of qualification in CONCACAF, the Hexagonal. Bruce Arena has called 26 players for these decisive World Cup Qualifiers against Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, both home and away respectively.
A bunch of familiar names has been called up to camp, with their goal in mind to position itself to advance for its eighth consecutive World Cup, becoming the only nation in the region to do so. Experienced players such as goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Tim Howard, defenders DaMarcus Beasley, Omar Gonzalez and Geoff Cameron, midfielders Michael Bradley and Christian Pulisic and forwards such as Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey have all been summoned by Arena for the crucial qualifiers in Orlando against Panama and in Port of Spain in Trinidad.
Victories in both these matches will virtually qualify the Yanks to Russia, alongside the already qualified Mexico and another nation either being Costa Rica, Honduras or Panama in the top 3 of the "Hex." The fourth-place side, which can also include Trinidad and Tobago will qualify to an intercontinental playoff with the winner of the Asian playoff between Syria and Australia.
Few things to take note
The national team currently have nine players on caution watch entering this match against Panama meaning that if either Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, DaMarcus Beasley, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey or DeAndre Yedlin get a yellow card, they will serve a one-game suspension in the match against Trinidad and Tobago. Also to note that Benny Feilhaber is back with the national team for the first time since February 2017. The Sporting KC midfielder also enters his first World Cup Qualifying camp since October 2009.
Here's the team national team list as followed:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers, Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)