U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley has put together a 20-man roster for the two friendlies next month, including the game against Colombia at PPL Park on October 12.
Thirteen of the 20 players were on this summer's World Cup roster, and three will be seeking their first ever national team cap. Only two of the 20 play in Major League Soccer. That allows the top stars in MLS to remain with their clubs as the playoff race concludes, and it also allows Bradley to take an up-close look at some emerging American talent playing in Europe.
The other friendly match for this group will be against Poland at Chicago's Soldier Field on October 9.
Here's the full roster:
Goalkeepers (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Tim Howard (Everton, England)
Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Étienne, France), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson (IK Start, Norway), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa, England), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan, Italy), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland, Denmark), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas, MLS), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United, England)
Midfielders (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro, Sweden), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Maurice Edu (Rangers, Scotland), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus, Denmark), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers, England), Jermaine Jones (FC Schalke, Germany), Brek Shea (FC Dallas, MLS)
Forwards (3): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal, Spain), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Eddie Johnson (Fulham, England)
There are plenty of familiar names on that list, so many that it's hard to pick out just a few big stars to highlight. So let's focus on the new players.
The one who will draw the most attention is midfielder Jermaine Jones. He played for Germany's youth national teams, but has duel citizenship and elected in 2009 to play for the United States senior national team. This is the first time that Jones has been called to a U.S. roster since then.
Defender Eric Lichaj is another fresh face. He has primarily been a reserve with Aston Villa, and has been on loan at various points with lower-league clubs Lincoln City and Leyton Orient. Lichaj is a native of suburban Chicago, and will likely be in the spotlight for that U.S.-Poland game.
Finally, there's FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea. You might recall that he scored a goal agianst the Union at Lincoln Financial Field back in May. Shea has had a very good season for FC Dallas, with five goals and eight assists. Shea and club teammate Heath Pearce will join the U.S. squad after their league match on October 10.
Because the U.S. matches will be as much about examination as results, I don't want to predict a starting lineup as such. But I can certainly give you a best XI, and you can debate who should start from there.
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Oguchi Oneywu, Steve Cherundolo
Midfielders: Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, Stuart Holden
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey
I know that a number of you would like to know how ticket sales are going for this match and the U.S. women's match at PPL Park on October 6. As of now I don't have any information, but I'll let you know when I do.