Luis Robles was left off the U.S. World Cup qualifying squad for the Honduras and Panama games. (Keith Furman/Front Row Soccer)
By Michael Lewis
Front Row Soccer Editor
Well, here is an interesting twist:
Neither goalkeeper Luis Robles or midfielder Sacha Kljestan of the Red Bulls have been called into national team camp for the United States’ World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama.
Former Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty, sent to the Chicago Fire in a controversial trade to the Chicago Fire in January, however did as U.S. head coach Bruce Arena unveiled his 24-man roster on FS1 Wednesday afternoon.
Robles will be able to continue to add to his Major League Soccer iron-man streak, which reached 142 consecutive games in the Red Bulls’ 1-0 home victory over the Colorado Rapids Saturday.
Five former New York players are on the team — goalkeepers Tim Howard (MetroStars) and Nick Rimando (he was dealt to the Red Bulls for a few days), defender Tim Ream (Red Bulls), midfielder Michael Bradley (MetroStars) and striker Jozy Altidore (Red Bulls).
Howard, who played with the MetroStars from 1998-2003, stood on his head this past weekend, making seven saves, several spectacular, against the Red Bulls.
Players will report to camp in San Jose, Calif. March 19 ahead of the U.S.-Honduras qualifier, set for Avaya Stadium in San Jose March 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Americans then travel to Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama on March 28 at 10:05 p.m. ET (beIN SPORTS/Telemundo).
All three players took part in Arena’s first camp since taking over the coaching reins from the fired Jurgen Klinsmann in November.
The U.S. roster:
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough/ENG; 13/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 33/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)
Defenders (8): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER; 2/0), DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 33/6), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 19/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 12/0), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX; 6/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 2/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; 0/0)
Midfielders (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 1/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 6/0, Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 31/5), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy; 16/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 15/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 0/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 3/0), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 5/2)
Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 33/16), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 36/13), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 8/3)