Howard Call Up

Arena names squad tasked with getting USA to the 2018 FIFA World Cup

U.S. Men's National Team coach, Bruce Arena, has called up the 26 players who will have the massive task of booking the nation's ticket to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Only two matches remain in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for the USA: Oct. 6 vs. Panama (in Orlando) and Oct. 10 away to Trinidad & Tobago. The USMNT currently sit in fourth place in the CONCACAF standings, which would guarantee them a playoff against the fifth-place finisher from the Asian qualifying. Only the top three finishers in CONCACAF earn automatic berths to the World Cup.

"It's a roster we've selected that we believe will give us success in these next two games. We have a pretty balanced roster with experienced players," Arena said in a US Soccer statement. "The players always give the commitment, that's never an issue. The issue is whether we get the results we need, and I think we're positioned to do that. I think if it comes down to where we need four or six points in our last two games, I think that's fine and we'll get it done."

Of the 26 players called up, 18 hail from MLS. Six of the eight players based in Europe and Mexico have also played in MLS.

As Arena himself previously hinted, there are few surprises on the roster except for a couple of names who hadn't been summoned to recent camps. Sporting Kansas City's Benny Feilhaber returns to the squad for the first time since February, bringing with him his creative playmaking abilities. He was originally joined by the LA Galaxy's Gyasi Zardes, but he withdrew from the roster after suffering a groin strain on Saturday night against Real Salt Lake.

The full roster follows below:

USMNT Roster (Oct. '17 World Cup Qualifiers)

Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders (10): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER)

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