CARY North Carolina (Reuters) - The friendly international against Jamaica on Tuesday may not be an all-or-nothing proposition but for a handful of United States players the game carries an awful lot of weight.
Less than three weeks after a largely domestic squad was embarrassed 4-1 by Germany in Dortmund the US will again field a home-based team in what essentially serves as the last chance to impress on the international stage before coach Bruce Arena names his FIFA World Cup™ squad.
"This gives me a last look at domestic players Arena told reporters Monday following a training session at SAS Soccer Park. "It's going to help me with some of the decision-making that lies ahead."
Arena who said three to five places remain up for grabs indicated that he will name a 35-man player pool on Wednesday and that he will reveal his 23-man FIFA World Cup squad on 1 or 2 May.
"It's another opportunity to perform and make the team said Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching who has been inconsistent for the national team but remains one of the top goalscorers in MLS.
"I don't look at it as an all-or-nothing make-or-break game he said. "I don't think I have to do it all here but I think doing well here and showing well in the season is very important."
Ching opened the league season with a four-goal performance against Colorado on 2 April and then scored again last weekend in a losing effort to Kansas City.
"It feels great to be on a scoring streak said Ching. "But he (Arena) told me I have to make an impact in the games I play. He wanted me to do that in the Germany game and he wants me to do it in this game."
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan who will start in attack or midfield for the US in Germany says that even though the result does not matter against Jamaica the team are desperate to win.
"It was a wake-up call in Germany said Donovan who missed the match through injury. "Watching it was really frustrating. I just think our spirit needs to be better and that we are better than that. We should expect more and we need to make sure we are playing to win tomorrow."
Goalkeeper Tony Meola has been recalled to the national team for the first time since the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the veteran of the 1990 and 1994 tournaments will receive his 100th cap.
"Tony did a fantastic job bringing respectability to the national team said Arena.
"As well as playing an important role in MLS. Anytime we can recognise achievements like when a player gets close to 100 caps we want to do it."