CHICAGO (Oct. 1 2009) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named Colorado Rapids forward Conor Casey to his 22-man roster that will train in advance of their crucial FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Costa Rica that will determine if the United States can automatically qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The U.S. first travels to San Pedro Sula to face Honduras with kickoff on Sat. Oct. 10 at the Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano set for 8pm MT. Four days later the U.S. returns home for the last match of final round qualifying when they will take on Costa Rica in Washington D.C. Kickoff at RFK Stadium is set for 6pm MT and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Fans can also follow both matches live online via ussoccer.com’s newly upgraded MatchTracker as well at twitter.com/ussoccer.
The U.S. currently sits in first place in the final round hexagonal collecting 16 points and a 5-2-1 record through eight games. Only four points separate the top four teams with two games remaining as Mexico sits one point behind the U.S. Honduras has 13 points and Costa Rica lurks just behind with 12 points. The top three teams automatically advance to the 2010 FIFA World Cup while the fourth place team will participate in a two-leg playoff against the fifth place team from South America.
While a victory in either of its last two matches would ensure the USA’s place in South Africa next year there are several scenarios in which the U.S. could advance. In order to qualify on Oct. 10 the U.S. would need to earn at least as many points as Costa Rica that day –with Costa Rica hosting Trinidad & Tobago a team that has already been eliminated –or Costa Rica would have to lose. If the U.S. does not qualify on Oct. 10 it would need at least a tie against Costa Rica on the final match day to guarantee a sixth consecutive appearance in the FIFA World Cup.
Honduras holds an unblemished 8-0-0 record at home in 2010 qualifying including five shutouts and two victories against regional rivals Mexico. During the final round of qualifying there has been only a single loss at home for one of the top four teams that coming when Costa Rica fell 3-0 to Mexico on Sept. 5 in San Jose. The U.S. has a lifetime record of 10-2-3 against Honduras with a 3-1-1 record in World Cup qualifying. The U.S. is 2-1-1 lifetime on Honduran soil with three of the four visits coming before 1994.
The U.S. faces Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in what could be the definitive match of World Cup qualifying in the friendly confines of RFK Stadium. The venue in the nation’s capital has hosted the national team 18 times and has been the site of 12 U.S. wins - more than any stadium in the world. Overall the U.S. is 12-3-4 on East Capitol Street. The most recent victory came in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup a 2-0 win against Honduras on July 8 in Group B with goals from Santino Quaranta and Brian Ching. The U.S. has a lifetime record of 11-11-5 against Costa Rica. In their last 10 meetings the U.S. holds an even 4-4-2 against the Ticos with all four wins coming in the U.S. and all four losses coming in San Jose Costa Rica.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes) Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) Steve Cherundolo (Hannover) Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards) Clarence Goodson (IK Start) Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan) Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach) Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo) Clint Dempsey (Fulham) Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus) Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo) Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew) José Francisco Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Hull City) Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids) Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo) Kenny Cooper (1860 Munich) Charlie Davies (FC Sochaux) Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)