CHICAGO (Feb. 4, 2013) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 24 players into training camp to prepare for its opening match against Honduras in the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The tough road to Brazil kicks off Feb. 6 in San Pedro Sula at 3 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on beIN SPORT. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer.
The U.S. is coming off a very disappointing 0-0 draw with Canada in a friendly that featured mostly players from Major League Soccer.
“We want to have a sense of urgency right from the start of the Final Round,” said Klinsmann. “We have a lot of respect for Honduras, but our message to the team is that we are going there to get three points. One thing we learned from the Semifinal Round is that you have to bring the right mentality to play in the tough games on the road, and I’m confident we are ready to do that.”
With the match falling on a FIFA international fixture date, Klinsmann is able to call upon a full squad that includes a total of 17 players based in Europe and Mexico. The roster is loaded with experience, including five players with 50 caps or more.
The United States holds a 12-3-3 lifetime record against Honduras in a series dating back to 1965. Both the United States and Honduras earned a place in the Final Round by virtue of winning their respective Semifinal Round groups. The Catrachos qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after only losing once at home in nine qualifiers throughout the cycle. That lone loss came against the United States.
The U.S. and Honduras are part of the six-team Hexagonal along with Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama. The 10-game, round-robin format will be contested from Feb. 6-Oct.10. The top three teams will automatically advance to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while the fourth-place team will compete in a two-leg playoff against the champion from the Oceania Confederation.
U.S. Roster by position (World Cup qualifying Caps/Goals)
GK (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa – 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton – 22/9 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0)
Defenders (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City – 0/0), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander – 31/5), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – 5/0), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana – 0/0), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg – 0/0), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders – 0/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy – 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim – 3/0), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg – 3/0)
Midfielders (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma – 19/5), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo – 0/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor – 9/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04 – 5/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht – 12/0), Jose Torres (Tigres – 9/0), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim – 4/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City – 3/0)
Forwards (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – 17/6), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur – 26/10), Herculez Gomez (Santos – 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders – 11/10)
- All of the USA’s scorers in the Semifinal Round are on the roster, led by Clint Dempsey. He tallied five in six games, with two coming on the road. Herculez Gomez collected a pair, including the game-winner against Jamaica on Sept. 11 in Columbus.
- Carlos Bocanegra scored two as well, his goal against Guatemala on Oct. 16 marking his 14th career strike that set the all-time record for a U.S. defender.
- Eddie Johnson scored two in his return to the National Team for the first time since being a part of the preliminary roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. His pair against Antigua & Barbuda led the USA to a 2-1 win. Dempsey and Johnson are tied for second place along with Brian McBride on the USA’s all-time scoring list in World Cup qualifying with 10 goals each.
- Dempsey, Gomez and Tim Howard were the only three players to appear in all six matches in the Semifinal Round.
- Jermaine Jones led all U.S. field players in games played (12) and minutes (1,002) in 2012.
- Entering 2012 with only one previous cap, Geoff Cameron ended the year with the second-most minutes played in the field.
- Should he appear in the World Cup Qualifier, Timmy Chandler will officially become cap-tied to the United States. Chandler has already played in nine friendly matches.
- Howard sits in second place all-time for victories among U.S. goalkeepers (45), and third in shutouts (29). He has nine clean sheets in 22 World Cup Qualifying appearances.
- Brad Guzan brings an additional three shutouts in five matches played in qualifying.
- Bocanegra has 31 career caps in World Cup Qualifying, the second-most in U.S. history along with Kasey Keller, Eddie Pope and Claudio Reyna. Dempsey is on 26 caps, tied for fourth-most with Jeff Agoos and DaMarcus Beasley.
- Seven players from the January camp roster earned a spot on the roster – Matt Besler, Brad Davis, Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Eddie Johnson, Sean Johnson and Graham Zusi. Of that group, only Eddie Johnson and Zusi have seen action in a World Cup Qualifier.
- Steve Cherundolo is sidelined with a knee injury and was not available for selection.
- Five players are carrying yellow cards: Michael Bradley, Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Fabian Johnson, and Zusi. Their next caution will result in a one-match suspension.