Sounders Insider

Oba, Pappa called in; Dempsey, Evans not

Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins (9) has been called to international duty with the Nigeria national team.
Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins (9) has been called to international duty with the Nigeria national team. Associated Press

Sounders Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans were not called by U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for a pair of international friendlies next week. However, forward Obafemi Martins was called by Nigeria and midfielder Marco Pappa by Guatemala.

The call-ins should not affect the Sounders in the ongoing MLS playoffs, as the league postseason takes a one-week break after this weekend.

“Brad’s hurt right now, in Jurgen’s mind, so Jurgen and I talked about that when he was up here,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “So I knew that was coming. Jurgen can answer his own question with regard to Clint, but I think he went with a younger group up front with maybe the exception of Allen Gordon, so I think it’s just he’s looking at these two games and saying, hey, give these younger guys a shot and maybe stay away from the guys who are still in the playoffs.”

Here’s the news from U.S. Soccer: 

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named the 23-player roster for the USA's first match of the 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Game one of the semifinal round is set for Nov. 13 against St. Vincent & the Grenadines and kicks off at Busch Stadium in St. Louis at 5:30 p.m CT.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas and the Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer.

"We're all excited about starting World Cup qualifying toward Russia 2018. Every time you say the words 'World Cup' it means so much to everyone involved that it gets you pumped up and energetic," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "The players realize it's going to be a long marathon toward Russia 2018, but we have to start it on the right foot. With St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, they're two nations that are not taken lightly. They are good teams. T&T proved it in the previous Gold Cup. With St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we have a team that is an unknown, but we watch their previous games and make ourselves familiar with their players. At the end of the day you still don't really know what to expect, so it's going to be very interesting."

A total of 13 players from the group have earned caps in previous World Cup Qualifying runs with Jozy Altidore (26), Michael Bradley (24) and Tim Howard (29) leading the way. Ten players will look to make their debut in World Cup Qualifying competition. U-20 World Cup veteran Matt Miazga and Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe have received their first call up to the senior National Team.

U.S. Roster By Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)

DEFENDERS (8) : Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)

MIDFIELDERS (7) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Club Leon), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)

FORWARDS (5) : Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

A capacity crowd of 45,000 is expected for the USA's match in St. Louis, the first of the campaign to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The game marks the MNT's first in the United States' one-time soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last playing to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now World Wide Technology Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997. It will be the first World Cup qualifier played in the St. Louis area since the USA's draw with El Salvador on Nov. 5 1989, which was also played at Busch Conference & Sports Center.

The MNT is 5-1-2 all time in the city of St. Louis (4-1-1 in World Cup Qualifiers) and is 7-1-2 in the state of Missouri.

The MNT was drawn into Group C for the Semifinal Round of Qualifying along with St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala. Following the match in St. Louis, the USA will travel to Port of Spain for the away leg with Trinidad, which will be played Nov. 17 and broadcast on beIN Sports and NBC Universo at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Roster Notes:

Eleven players from the USA's 2014 FIFA World Cup Roster are a part of this group: Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron Mix Diskerud, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones and DeAndre Yedlin.

Thirteen players have World Cup Qualifying experience.

Three players on the roster have played in 20-plus World Cup Qualifying games (Howard, Bradley, Altidore), while 10 players have the chance to play in their first Qualifying game (Ventura Alvarado, Matt Miazga, Bill Hamid, Tim Ream, Miguel Ibarra, Darlington Nagbe, Yedlin, Jordan Morris, Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes).

Altidore has appeared in eleven games for the MNT this year. The forward scored a pair of goals in the team's 2-1 win against Peru in September, which was the fourth multi-goal game of his international career. With four goals in 2015, he is now just one goal behind Brain McBride (30) for fourth on the MNT's all-time goal-scoring list.

The MNT striker is just 25-years-old, but is already a World Cup Qualifying veteran, having scored 10 goals in 26 qualifying appearances. Altidore has started in 17 qualifiers and is tied with McBride for fourth on the MNT's all-time WCQ scoring list.

On April 1, 2009 Altidore became the youngest player in MNT history to score a hat trick , burying all three goals in a 3-0 home qualifying win in the hexagonal against Trinidad & Tobago.

Bradley moved over the 100-cap mark this year. The midfielder has punched in three goals while recording six assists in 2015. The captain has scored five goals in 24 World Cup Qualifying matches. In a Final Round qualifying game for the 2010 World Cup against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, Bradley scored a brace to lead the USA to a 2-0 victory.

Howard leads the roster with 29 World Cup Qualifying appearances. The veteran returned to the MNT from a year-long break in September and started in goal for the USA in their most recent match against Costa Rica. Howard has stood between the posts 105 times for the USA and is the MNT's all-time leader in wins with 55.

Guzan played a pivotal role in the MNT's qualifying run towards the 2014 World Cup. The Polar Bear posted back-to-back shutouts during qualifying the last time around, including the historic 0-0 draw against Mexico at Estadio Azteca in March 2013. Guzan has appeared in eight World Cup qualifiers.

Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer's Gold Cup and has posted a 9-4-3 record since September of last year.

Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January of this year and has appeared in 17 games since, starting 14. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on four goals. This will be his first World Cup Qualifying campaign.

Yedlin has appeared in 17 of the 18 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied four assists, including on Bobby Wood's game-tying goal in extra time of the CONCACAF Cup. While Yedlin appeared in three World Cup games in 2014, the speedster is still seeking his first World Cup Qualifying cap.

It's been a coming out party of sorts for Wood this year. The Union Berlin forward has found the net three times in 2015 in three clutch scenarios. He scored late game-winners against Netherlands and Germany and scored the extra time equalizer against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup.

Johnson comes into qualifying riding a wave of success with his club Borussia Monchengladbach, having just scored in 'Gladbach's UEFA Champions League match with Juventus on Nov. 3. Johnson played in nine qualifiers in 2013 in the run up to the 2014 World Cup.

Cameron is one of the qualifying veterans of the team after appearing in 13 qualifying matches in 2013-14. The defender is a regular starter for English Premier League club Stoke City and has appeared in four MNT games in 2015. The Boston-native scored his second international goal this year from a first-half header in the CONCACAF Cup.

Besler returns for another qualifying run after helping the team earn a spot in the 2014 World Cup. In just his second appearance for the United States, Besler started in the 2013 road World Cup qualifier against Mexico at Estadio Azteca, where the U.S. earned a point for only the second time in team history.

Alvarado makes his first World Cup Qualifying roster in his first year with the MNT. The 23-year-old was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Mexican parents and chose to represent the USA, becoming officially cap-tied to the U.S. when he started the opening match of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Honduras. Alvarado has appeared in 13 matches in 2015 since making his debut on March 25 against Denmark.

Having become a U.S. citizen in September, midfielder Darlington Nagbe earns his first national team call up at any age-level despite living in the U.S. since he was a child. Nagbe was part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's inaugural class, playing for the Internationals SC (Cleveland, Ohio) in 2007.

Miazga, who played for the U-20 MNT in the U-20 World Cup this summer and competed for the U-23 MNT in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship in October, earns his first senior team call up.

Jones missed time with the MNT this year due to injury, but returned in September and played all 120 minutes of the CONCACAF Cup. The New England Revolution midfielder has appeared in 12 World Cup qualifiers.

Brek Shea is back in the fold. The Orlando City SC contributor started in the first six games of 2015 but then missed time to injury and didn't appear in a line up again until starting the Oct. 13 match against Costa Rica. Shea scored from a free kick against Switzerland in March. He has appeared in three World Cup qualifiers.

Despite having participated in two World Cup Qualifying campaigns, Beckerman has appeared in just six qualifying matches. Beckerman has made nine international appearances in 2015.

Michael Orozco started against Peru and Brazil in September, taking up both the right back and center back positions. Orozco, who moved to Club Tijuana this summer, owns a piece of history as the scorer of the game-winning goal in 2012 that led to the USA's first victory against Mexico at Estadio Azteca. Orozco has just three World Cup Qualifying appearances, but also has a goal to his name, scoring in the MNT's famous away match against Panama in Oct. 2013.

Diskerud appeared in three qualifiers in 2013 and has played in 11 games in 2015. He scored the USA's opening goal against Germany to help lead the team to a 2-1 win against the reigning World Cup champs in Cologne this year.

It will be a homecoming for St. Louis native Tim Ream. The Fulham FC defender has appeared in seven games in 2015, starting five and recording one assist.

Liga MX midfielder Ibarra of Club Leon earned his first cap with the MNT in 2015. The former NASL Golden Ball winner recently scored a goal for Leon in their 2-1 win against Atlas on Oct. 31.

Alan Gordon made his international debut in World Cup Qualifying, assisting on Eddie Johnson's 90th minute goal to give the USA a 2-1 win against Antigua and Barbuda in 2012. That match coupled with his appearance in this year's Gold Cup semifinal against Jamaica represents his two career caps.

Having just turned 21-years-old, Morris made an impact with the MNT this year, scoring against Mexico in April and assisting on the game-winning goal against the Netherlands. The Stanford junior has split time between the senior team, making five appearances with the MNT in 2015 and earning 11 caps with the U-23s, scoring six goals and tallying four assists.

  Comments