Los Angeles (AFP) – Bundesliga-based star Christian Pulisic features again in coach Bruce Arena’s squad for the United States’ upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras.
The 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been impressive in international duty with five goals in nine World Cup qualifying matches.
He scored a goal in the 6-0 victory over Honduras on March 24 and set up Clint Dempsey’s goal in a 1-1 draw at Panama four days later.
He and Dempsey key an attack that also includes Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris — hero of the United States’ 2-1 win over Jamaica in the Gold Cup final in July.
US captain Michael Bradley is back after a summer that saw him score against Mexico and win the Golden Ball at the Gold Cup.
In all, the squad includes 26 players who have seen international duty already this year.
The United States play Costa Rica on Friday, in a rematch of the Gold Cup semi-final, in Harrison, New Jersey.
After a disastrous start to the “Hexagonal” final phase of qualifying in the CONCACAF region, the United States go into the September qualifiers in third place with eight points. Mexico top the table on 14 ahead of Costa Rica on 10.
The top three teams claim automatic berths to Russia next year.
USA squad for World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG), Jorge Villafanna (Santos Laguna/MEX), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER)
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