CHICAGO (AP) — Seattle forward Clint Dempsey was left off the U.S. roster for its opening qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann included a pair of players who could make their national team debuts: Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe and New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga
In the absence of Dempsey and injured striker Aron Johannsson, Klinsmann’s forwards include Jozy Altidore, Alan Gordon, Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes and Stanford junior Jordan Morris.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Will You Get A Fourth Relief Payment?
“At this point in time, I want to give the younger strikers a chance to prove themselves, and this is a good stage to do it,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “I communicated with Clint about it, and it’s all fine.”
The U.S. opens against St. Vincent and the Grenadines at St. Louis on Nov. 13, then plays at Trinidad and Tobago four days later.
Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Fabian Johnson is on the roster announced Friday despite a spat last month with Klinsmann, who was angered the defender asked to come off in the 111th minute of the Oct. 10 playoff against Mexico for a Confederations Cup berth. The U.S. lost 3-2, and Klinsmann sent Johnson back to Germany before an exhibition against Costa Rica on Oct. 13, saying “he can rethink his approach about his team.”
Nagbe made the roster less than two months after becoming an American citizen. The 25-year-old was born in Liberia and left the country when he was young with his family because of civil war. He played at the University of Akron, winning the 2010 Hermann Trophy as the top college soccer player, and is in his fifth season with the Timbers. Portland owner Merritt Paulson announced Sept. 10 that Nagbe became a U.S. citizen that day.
Miazga, 20, was born in Clifton, New Jersey, and also is eligible to play for Poland. He became a regular for the Red Bulls this season and started for the U.S. at this year’s Under-20 World Cup and with the under-23 team in qualifying for next year’s Olympics.
“Those are two players that have been on our radar for a long time,” Klinsmann said.
Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, defender Brad Evans and No. 3 goalkeeper Nick Rimando also are not available because of injuries.READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: Parents Will Soon Get A Monthly Check, But For How Much?
The U.S. will train in Miami next week before going to St. Louis for the opening qualifier at Busch Stadium.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Bill Hamid (D.C.), Tim Howard (Everton, England)
Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (America, Mexico), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke, England), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Tijuana, Mexico), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Brek Shea (Orlando City)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto), Mix Diskerud (New York City), Miguel Ibarra (Leon, Mexico), Jermaine Jones (New England), Darlington Nagbe (Portland), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland, England).
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto), Alan Gordon (Los Angeles), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin, Germany), Gyasi Zardes (Los Angeles).
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