USA announces roster for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Hunter Martin - Getty Images

Jurgen Klismann made a few surprise picks in his latest roster selection, ending a long absence for Eddie Johnson and leaving Jozy Altidore and Terrence Boyd home.

The United States roster will have a few interesting pieces when they take on Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers on Oct. 12 and 16. Although it's not so much of a surprise anymore, Eddie Johnson earned his first call-up in nearly two years and Sacha Kljestan earned his first call for a competitive match since the last Gold Cup. Alan Gordon has been named to the U.S. roster for just the second time in his career and the 32-year-old has yet to make an international appearance.

Perhaps the two most surprising omissions were Jozy Altidore and Terrence Boyd, both of whom had become fixtures on this team over the past year. Altidore's absence was especially surprising given his form with AZ Alkmaar where he has eight goals in his first six matches this year. Boyd is on similar form, with five goals in nine appearances for Rapid Vienna.

Also left off the roster was Chris Wondolowski, who is probably the hottest American striker in the world. His 25 goals put him in striking distance of Roy Lassiter's MLS record.

That said, it's hard to argue with Johnson, Gordon or Kljestan. Johnson is having a resurgent year in which he has 14 goals for the Seattle Sounders; Gordon now has 12 goals and seven assists; and Kljestan has not had a great start this year with Anderlecht but has seemed deserving of a call-up in the past.

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)

MIDFIELDERS (8) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

For more analysis of the roster, be sure to check out SB Nation's US Soccer blog Stars and Stripes FC.

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