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Real Salt Lake: RSL's Nick Rimando called in for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

First Published      Last Updated Mar 15 2017 02:19 pm

Bruce Arena is going with his proven guys.

And that includes Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 37-year-old shot-stopper was named to Arena's first 24-man U.S. men's national team roster for the upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers against Honduras on March 24 and at Panama on March 28. Rimando has 22 career senior-team caps and five shutouts. His most recent start came in a 0-0 match against Serbia in late January.

"I'm extremely excited and honored to be called in to represent my club and country in this month's World Cup Qualifying games," Rimando said in a club release. "I realize how important these games are and I'm looking forward to helping the U.S. get back on track."



Joining Rimando are incumbent U.S. goalkeeper starters Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. In an interview with The Tribune last month, Rimando said no matter his role in World Cup qualifiers, he'd relish a return to the national-team picture.

"I know if I'm not playing in that game, I'm going to push Timmy, Brad or whoever it is playing in that game," Rimando said. "I know if I do get that game, they're going to push me if they're in camp. … It's such an important game, but when you wear that crest, you want to do well as a team and you want to help that person that's playing."

The U.S. currently sits in sixth place in the Hexagonal Round of CONCACAF qualifying. These are the first qualifiers since former coach Jurgen Klinsmann was fired after losing back-to-back matches at home against Mexico and later on the road at Costa Rica last fall.

First up for the new Arena era is on March 24 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., where the U.S. face Honduras. Four days later, the Americans face Panama in Panama City on March 28.

"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 release. "It's a roster where the primary rationale is to help us be successful in these two games, but we're also looking down the road and bringing in some young players that we think have an opportunity to be an important part of the national team program as well. Our approach to these games is simple: we want to win."

Also highlighting Arena's roster are forwards Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris. Captain Michael Bradley returns to man the midfield, as does Jermaine Jones, who is likely set to start the match at Panama. Jones is suspended for the match against Honduras.

Eighteen-year-old phenom Christian Pulisic is not only in the mix, but likely will be called upon to be the main U.S. creator in the attacking going forward.

ckamrani@sltrib.com

Twitter: @chriskamrani

 

AT A GLANCE

USMNT roster

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough/ENG), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER),  Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers, Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER)


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