Bruce Arena Announces Roster for March Qualifiers

"We put together a roster that we think has balance and one that gives us an option in playing a number of different ways", Arena said in a statement.

Howard, a 38-year-old previously with Manchester United and Everton, returns for the first time since suffering a hip fracture in a 2-1 World Cup home qualifying loss to Mexico.

And these are the players Arena thinks can accomplish the mission. "He's made great progress in preseason and his first two games with Seattle, and we think he's a player that can still help us in these games - perhaps at a reduced role - but a player that still has a tremendous history of scoring goals and creating opportunities".

Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin and Nottingham Forest fullback Eric Lichaj will miss the matches due to injury.

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Arena said Yedlin was examined by USA team doctors in Los Angeles this week and likely will be sidelined for five weeks.

"We know there are some good days still ahead for Clint", Arena said. With matches at the end of the month against Honduras and Panama, Arena has selected 24 players, with Clint Dempsey returning.

The Stars and Stripes will face Honduras on March 24 in San Jose, California, before travelling to Panama for their fourth match of the Hexagonal.

"Clint has a history that is nearly second to none", Arena said in a statement issued by U.S. Soccer. Our approach to these games is simple: "We want to win".

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Sacha Kljestan of the New York Red Bulls, whom many observers figured might start in central midfield, did not make the squad. Then they go away to Panama, which you can catch on Tuesday, March 28 at 11 p.m. ET on beIN Sports.

"Clint has a history that is nearly second to none".

Arena intends to use Fabian Johnson at left midfield, where he plays for Borussia Moenchengladbach, leaving left back options to include 34-year-old DaMarcus Beasley and Villafana, who has never made a competitive worldwide appearance. It looks likely that Geoff Cameron or Michael Orozco Fiscal - usually central defenders - will slide over.

Also named to the team were Galaxy midfielders Jermaine Jones and Sebastian Lletget.

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"He keeps getting better", Arena said. Nineteen players have World Cup qualifying experience and 10 have made 12 or more qualifying appearances.


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