U.S. Menâ€™s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 20 players to begin preparations for the final matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycle. The U.S. closes out the Hexagonal with a home match against Jamaica on Oct. 11 in Kansas City, before completing the campaign on the road against Panama on Oct. 15 in Panama City.
The team will begin gathering Oct. 6 in Kansas City in advance of Fridayâ€™s match. Kickoff at sold-out Sporting Park is set for 5:30 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Four days later, the U.S. closes out the final round when it faces Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez (8:30 p.m. CT, beIN Sport). Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.comâ€™s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
Currently ranked No. 13 in FIFAâ€™s world rankings, the United States holds a one point lead over Costa Rica at the top of the group and has the chance to finish in first place in CONCACAF qualifying for the third-consecutive cycle. The matches have huge implications for the rest of the participants, as only two of the three automatic berths from CONCACAF have already been determined. Honduras sits in third place on 11 points, while Mexico and Panama are even with eight points in the fourth position.
â€œWe want to finish qualifying on a high note and prove a point in our region,â€ said Klinsmann. â€œWe donâ€™t view these games as the end of World Cup qualifying. For us, itâ€™s the start of preparations for the World Cup, and therefore we have to continue to raise the bar. We have had such amazing support from our fans throughout the last two years, and we owe it to them to put our best foot forward.â€
The U.S. will hold a public training session Oct. 9 at Sporting Park. The event is free and open to the public.
In front of a raucous capacity crowd of 24,584 on Sept.10 at Columbus Crew Stadium, the U.S. MNT defeated Mexico 2-0 to earn its berth to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. With the win, the U.S. set a new record for victories in a calendar year with 14, improving to 14-3-2 in 2013 and topping the previous record of 13 wins set in 2005 and 2009.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION â€“ DETAILED ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
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