Chris Pontius and Jonathan Spector have been called into the United States team for their upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium. They will replace Heath Pearce and Zach Loyd, both of whom had to withdraw from the team due to injuries. The U.S. will play Costa Rica on September 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA before traveling to Brussels for a match against Belgium on September 6.
The two new call-ups will join the U.S. team in California for their training camp leading up to the friendlies. The team began arriving on Monday and will begin intensive training on Tuesday.
Pontius will bring some attacking wide play to the U.S. team that remains short on wingers. The 24-year-old is having the best year of his career for D.C. United and while he has taken part in training with the U.S. before he has never been capped. Spector give the U.S. an option at all four spots along the back line and has played in two matches for Championship side Birmingham this season after joining them from fellow relegated club West Ham in the summer.
In addition to the news that Pontius and Spector would be called in, it was also announced on Monday that Fabian Johnson would not play for the U.S. in either friendly. The Hoffenheim player was expected to get his first U.S. cap, but his paperwork applying for a switch from Germany, for whom he played as a youth player, to the U.S. has yet to be approved by FIFA. He will still be in camp and train with the team, but he will not play in either match.