Christian Pulisic, who enjoyed a memorable season with Borussia Dortmund, was called into the U.S. team. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
U.S. national head coach Bruce Arena Sunday called in 27 players to training camp in advance of America’s three June matches, including the two vital World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico.
The call-ups including several familiar names, including goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Nick Rimano, defenders John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Timmy Chandler, DeAndre Yedlin and Graham Zusi, midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Johnson and Christian Pulisic and forwards Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris and Bobby Wood.
No Red Bulls were called up, although five former New York players were, including goalkeeper Tim Howard, defender Tim Ream, midfielders Dax McCarty and Michael Bradley and striker Jozy Altidore got the good news.
As for the Red Bulls’ two leading candidates who were called into January camp, midfielder Sacha Kljestan has been out of form for most of the Major League Soccer season, and while goalkeeper Luis Robles has been outstanding, there is a long line of viable keepers for the USA.
“I think we have a good group,” Arena said. “I’m still in the early goings with this team and I haven’t seen all of our players, so this camp gives me the opportunity to see six new faces we haven’t had in with the team yet, which is valuable. It’s also great that we’re able to bring back 21 players that have been in with our program already in 2017. We have a roster that has good balance all over, we have good young players and hopefully it’s a team we can put together to get us points in both games.”
Players begin reporting Sunday to Denver ahead of USA-Trinidad & Tobago at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park June 8 at 7:50 p.m. (FS1, UniMas and UDN).
Three days later, the U.S. will seek its first three points away to Mexico in World Cup qualifying. Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will host the 66th meeting between the teams since 1934 (FS1, Univision and UDN beginning at 7:30 p.m.)
In preparation for the qualifiers, the MNT will play a tune-up against Venezuela at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah June 3 (FS1 and the Univision networks 10 p.m. ET.
The U.S. roster (World Cup qualifying caps, goals)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 13/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 0/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 35/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (11): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 33/6),Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 11/1), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER; 3/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 20/2), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; 3/0), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 14/0), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 0/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 4/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 2/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 6/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 17/3)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 2/0),Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 2/1), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 8/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 33/6), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 15/1), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 5/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 38/18)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 36/16), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 38/18), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 8/4)