The U.S. squad who will face El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago has been set, according to a press release from the team.By Noah Davis
Bob Bradley announced the 22 players who will train before the United States Men's National Team's 2010 World Cup qualifying matches against El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago on March 28 and April 1, respectively. Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and Tim Howard headline the squad that consists of 17 European-based players and five footballers who ply their trades in Major League Soccer.
All 11 players who started in the American's 2-0 victory over Mexico in February will be in the camp that begins on Sunday.
Howard, suspended for the match in El Salvador after picking up a yellow card against El Tri, headlines the goalkeeping core that also includes Aston Villa's Brad Guzan and Marcus Hahnemann from Reading.
The U.S. backline of Heath Pearce, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, and Frankie Hejduk that held Mexico scoreless will likely get another two matches together against the pair of CONCACAF opponents.
As previously reported on Goal.com, Xerex's Jozy Altidore received a call, as did youngsters Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Jose Francisco Torres, and Sacha Kljestan.
One surprise is the return of Eddie Johnson. The striker burst onto the National Team scene during qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, but has struggled since and many thought his days in the Red, White, and Blue were over. He has recently found himself at Cardiff City, however, and Bradley rewarded his effort.
West Ham's Jonathan Spector and Watford's Jay DeMerit -- both recently recovered from injury -- are two other players returning to the U.S. camp after extended absences.
After one match, the U.S. sits atop the Hexagonal round standings, in a tie with Costa Rica. El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago sit tied for third on one point, while Mexico and Honduras are tied for fifth. The top three teams at the end of the 10-game tournament advance to the World Cup in South Africa while the fourth-place team plays a two-match playoff with the fifth-place finisher in South American qualification for a final golden ticket.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 4/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton: 8/6 SO), Marcus Hahnemann (Reading: 1/1 SO)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 17/2), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 3/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford: 1/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 15/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 13/1), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 8/0), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United: 2/1)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco: 5/1), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 22/6), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach: 7/4), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers: 3/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 7/0), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids: 12/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 2/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Xerez C.D.: 4/1), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 13/6), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 13/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 26/9), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City: 9/8)
Noah Davis covers the United States Men's National Team for Goal.com.