Rapids Midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Pablo Mastroeni Named to US Roster for Feb. 7 Match vs. Mexico
CHICAGO (By Jason Halpin MLSnet.com)- Twenty-six MLS players will spend the next two weeks training at The Home Depot Center in Carson Calif. in advance of the U.S. national team's Feb. 7 match against rival Mexico. Interim U.S. coach Bob Bradley unveiled the roster Wednesday.
Bradley will also have up to eight European-based players available for the Mexico match at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale Ariz. With the game falling on a FIFA international fixture date Bradley has submitted releases for eight players and a week before the match he will have a final list of European-based players who will travel to Phoenix.
"We are excited to get back to work and continue the progress we have made since the beginning of January said Bradley. "All the little things that surround a USA-Mexico game - whether it is great crowds intense competition or media attention - can only benefit our players as they continue to gain experience at this level. We are also looking forward to adding more of our European-based players into the mix for the first time this year."
Only a handful of changes have been made to the squad that defeated Denmark 3-1 on Jan. 20 in Bradley's first game at the helm. The New England Revolution's Pat Noonan (knee) and Houston Dynamo's Brian Mullan (ankle) have departed due to injury while Denmark-based Danny Califf and Heath Pearce have left to join their teams for preseason training. Revolution forward Taylor Twellman who missed the year's first camp while recuperating from a hernia injury has been added to the mix.
The roster includes two players who shined in their international debuts against Denmark. Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein the 2006 Gatorade MLS Rookie of the Year started the game and scored the game-winning goal. FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper came off the bench to notch an insurance marker.
Two other players - D.C. United defender Bryan Namoff and Colorado Rapids midfielder Kyle Beckerman - also made their debuts for the Stars & Stripes in the Denmark game. Both are back in camp ahead of the Mexico tilt.
A total of seven players who are still looking for their first cap have been called up. United's Josh Gros and Troy Perkins the Chicago Fire's Matt Pickens and Dasan Robinson Chivas USA's Sacha Kljestan the Revolution's Michael Parkhurst and Dynamo's Eddie Robinson all missed out on the Denmark match but will hope to see time against the USA's neighbors to the south.
The United States and Mexico will meet for the 52nd time on Feb. 7 with the Red White and Blue holding a 12-29-10 record in the series that dates back to 1934. Since 1990 though the USA has taken over control of the rivalry with a 10-7-7 record. The Stars and Stripes haven't lost to Mexico on U.S. soil since 1999 winning six games and drawing one since then.
The match which will be the USA's first at the brand-new University of Phoenix Stadium will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision starting at 9 p.m. ET. Kickoff is set for 9:25.
ROSTER BY POSITION:
Goalkeepers (4) - Joe Cannon (Los Angeles Galaxy) Matt Pickens (Chicago Fire) Troy Perkins (D.C. United) Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
Defenders (9) - Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy) Bobby Boswell (D.C. United) Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards) Todd Dunivant (New York Red Bulls) Bryan Namoff (D.C. United) Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution) Dasan Robinson (Chicago Fire) Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)
Midfielders (7) - Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids) Brian Carroll (D.C. United) Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo) Joshua Gros (D.C. United) Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA) Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire) Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids).
Forwards (6) -Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas) Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards) Nate Jaqua (Los Angeles Galaxy) Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire) Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer or its clubs.