Sounders Insider

USA kicks off 2018 World Cup qualifying

United States men's national soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann watches his team warm up during practice Thursday in St. Louis. The U.S. team is scheduled to play a World Cup qualifying match against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday.
United States men's national soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann watches his team warm up during practice Thursday in St. Louis. The U.S. team is scheduled to play a World Cup qualifying match against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday. Associated Press

The U.S. Men's National Team kicks off 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, Nov. 13. A capacity crowd of 45,000 will be on hand to witness the MNT's first match since 1997 in the nation's historic soccer capital.

The match will kick off at 5:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas and the Univision Deportes Network.

For the game against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called a 23-player roster that features a strong mix of battle-tested veterans and emerging young players who have been brought along since the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Following Friday's match against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the U.S. MNT will travel to Port of Spain to face Trinidad & Tobago for Game Two of the team's CONCACAF Semifinal Qualifying series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The game will be broadcast live on beIN Sports, NBC Universo and NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra beginning at 6:25 p.m. ET.

U.S. MNT World Cup Qualifying Notes

• The U.S. begins the quest to qualify for its eighth consecutive FIFA World Cup against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday, Nov. 13 in St. Louis, Mo.

• The MNT holds a 70-36-32 all-time record in World Cup Qualifying.

• The USA is 46-6-12 all-time in home World Cup Qualifying matches and rides a 27-match home unbeaten streak into Friday's game, going 25-0-2 since last falling 3-2 to Honduras on Sept. 1, 2001.

• The USA is unbeaten in its last nine opening World Cup Qualifying matches, going 4-0-5 in a span that dates back to the 1978 World Cup Qualifying cycle.

• Friday's match marks the MNT's first visit to St. Louis since a 0-0 draw with Paraguay on June 4, 1997.

• The USA is 5-1-2 all-time in matches played in St. Louis and 4-1-1 all-time in World Cup Qualifiers in the nation's former soccer capital.

• Since 1990 World Cup Qualifying, the MNT is 24-2-8 all-time against Caribbean nations and 14-0-3 when playing them on home soil.

U.S. Roster By Position (Club; World Cup Qualifying Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa; 8/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 0/0), Tim Howard (Everton; 29/0)

DEFENDERS (8) : Ventura Alvarado (Club America; 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 6/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; 13/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach; 9/0), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana; 3/1), Tim Ream (Fulham FC; 0/0), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC; 3/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake; 6/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 24/5), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC; 3/0), Miguel Ibarra (Club Leon; 0/0), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution; 12/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 0/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland 0/0)

FORWARDS (5 ): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 26/10), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy; 1/0), Jordan Morris (Stanford; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 0/0)

U.S. Roster Notes:

• Eleven players from the USA's 2014 FIFA World Cup Roster are a part of this group: Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Mix Diskerud, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones and DeAndre Yedlin.

• Thirteen players have World Cup Qualifying experience.

• Three players on the roster have played in 20-plus qualifying games (Howard, Bradley and Altidore), while 10 players have the chance to play in their first Qualifying game (Ventura Alvarado, Matt Miazga, Bill Hamid, Tim Ream, Miguel Ibarra, Darlington Nagbe, Yedlin, Jordan Morris, Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes).

• Altidore has appeared in 11 games for the MNT this year. The forward scored a pair of goals in the team's 2-1 win against Peru in September, which was the fourth multi-goal game of his international career. With four goals in 2015, he is now just one goal behind Brain McBride (30) for fourth on the MNT's all-time goal-scoring list.

• The striker is just 25-years-old but already a World Cup Qualifying veteran, having scored 10 goals in 26 Qualifying appearances. Altidore has started in 17 qualifiers and with his 10 goals is tied with McBride for fourth on the MNT's all-time WCQ scoring list.

• Bradley moved over the 100-cap mark this year. The midfielder has punched in three goals while recording six assists in 2015. The U.S. captain has appeared in 24 World Cup Qualifying matches and has scored five goals, including both strikes that secured the USA's passage to the 2010 World Cup with a 2-0 win against Mexico on Sept. 3, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio.

• Howard leads the way with 29 World Cup Qualifying appearances. Howard has stood between the posts 105 times for the USA and is the MNT's all-time leader in wins.

• Guzan played a pivotal role in the MNT's Qualifying run towards the 2014 World Cup. The Polar Bear posted back-to-back shutouts during Qualifying the last time around, including the historic 0-0 draw against Mexico at Estadio Azteca in March 2013. Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer's Gold Cup and has posted a 9-4-3 record since September of last year. Guzan has appeared in eight World Cup qualifiers.

• It will be a homecoming for St. Louis native Tim Ream. The Fulham FC defender has appeared in seven games in 2015, starting in five and recording one assist.

• Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp last January and has appeared in 17 games since, tied for most on the team this year. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on four goals.

• Yedlin has appeared in 17 of the 18 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied four assists, including on Bobby Wood's game-tying goal in extra time of the CONCACAF Cup. While Yedlin appeared in three World Cup games in 2014, the speedster is still seeking his first World Cup Qualifying cap.

• It's been a coming out party of sorts for Wood this year. The Union Berlin forward has found the net three times in three clutch scenarios. He scored late game-winners against the Netherlands and Germany and scored an extra time equalizer against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup.

• Johnson comes into qualifying riding a wave of success with his club Borussia Monchengladbach, having just scored in 'Gladbach's UEFA Champions League match vs. Juventus on Nov. 3. Johnson played in nine qualifiers in the run up to the 2014 World Cup.

• Cameron is one of the veterans of World Cup Qualifying, having appeared in 13 matches during the last cycle. The defender is a regular starter for English Premier League club Stoke City and has appeared in four games in 2015. The Boston-native scored his second international goal off a first-half header in the CONCACAF Cup.

• Besler returns for another Qualifying run after helping the team earn a spot in the 2014 World Cup. In just his second appearance for the United States, Besler started in the 2013 road World Cup qualifier against Mexico at Estadio Azteca, where the U.S. earned a point for only the second time in team history.

• Alvarado makes his first World Cup Qualifying roster in his first year with the MNT. The 23-year-old was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Mexican parents and chose to represent the USA, becoming officially cap-tied to the U.S. when he started the opening match of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Honduras. Alvarado has appeared in 13 matches in 2015 since making his debut on March 25 against Denmark.

• Beckerman has appeared in six qualifiers. Beckerman has made nine appearances in 2015.

• Jones missed time with the MNT this year due to injury, but returned in September and played all 120 minutes of the CONCACAF Cup. The New England Revolution midfielder has appeared in 12 World Cup qualifiers.

• Brek Shea is back in the fold. The Orlando City SC contributor started in the first six games of 2015 but then missed time to injury and didn't appear in a line up again until starting the Oct. 13 match against Costa Rica. Shea scored from a free kick against Switzerland in March. He has appeared in three World Cup qualifiers.

• Michael Orozco started against Peru and Brazil in September, taking up both the right back spot and then center back. Orozco - who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - owns a piece of history as the scorer of the game-winning goal in 2012 that led to the USA's first victory against Mexico at Estadio Azteca. Orozco made his National Team debut in World Cup qualifier, a 2-1 loss in Port of Spain against Trinidad on Oct. 15, 2008.

• Alan Gordon has one World Cup Qualifying appearance which also earned him his first cap, where he assisted on Eddie Johnson's 90th minute goal to give the USA a 2-1 win against Antigua and Barbuda in 2012.

• Diskerud appeared in three qualifiers in 2013 and has played in 11 games in 2015. He scored a goal against Germany to help lead the team to a 2-1 win against the reigning World Cup champs.

• Liga MX midfielder Miguel Ibarra of Club Leon earned his first cap with the MNT in 2015. The former NASL Golden Ball winner scored a goal for Leon in their 2-1 win against Atlas on Oct. 31.

• Having just turned 21, Jordan Morris has made an impact with the MNT this year, scoring against Mexico in April and assisting on the game-winning goal against the Netherlands. The Stanford junior has split time between the senior team, making five appearances in 2015 and earning 11 caps with the U-23 MNT, scoring six goals and tallying four assists.

• Matt Miazga, who played for the USA in the U-20 World Cup this summer and competed for the U-23 MNT in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship in October, earns his first senior team call up for this pair of World Cup qualifiers.

• Having become a U.S. citizen in September, midfielder Darlington Nagbe earns his first call to represent the USA at any age level. Nagbe was part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's inaugural class, playing for the Internationals SC (Cleveland) in 2007.

USA VS. ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES:

• Friday's match marks the first-ever meeting between the two nations.

• St. Vincent and the Grenadines is coached by former Vincy Heat captain Cornelius Huggins and assisted by former MLS defender and current Seattle Sounders FC 2 head coach Ezra Hendrickson. Huggins (96 caps) and Hendrickson (123 caps) combined for 219 appearances for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

• St. Vincent returns to the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for the first time since the 2006 cycle.

• St. Vincent and the Grenadines arrived in the semifinal round by advancing through two home-and-away qualifying series. First, Vincy Heat played to a 6-6 deadlock with Guyana before advancing on away goals in January's second round. In September, St. Vincent dispatched Aruba 3-2 over two legs to land in the semifinals.

• St. Vincent and the Grenadines are 1-23-1 all-time against non-Caribbean nations. The lone victory came in a 4-1 World Cup qualifying win against Nicaragua on June 20, 2004. St. Vincent also drew 1-1 with Belize on November 11, 2011.

IN FOCUS: ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation

Founded: 1979

FIFA affiliation: 1988

Head Coach: Cornelius Huggins

FIFA World Ranking: 129

Best World Cup Finish: N/A

Leading Cap-Winner: Melvin Andrews (145)

Leading Goalscorer: Shandel Samuel (32)

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES ROSTER BY POSITION:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Moises Munoz (Club America/Mexico); Alfredo Talavera (Toluca/Mexico); Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey/Mexico)

DEFENDERS (8) : Paul Aguilar (Club America/Mexico); Israel Jimenez (Tigres/Mexico); Miguel Layun (Porto/Portugal); Rafael Marquez (Hellas Verona/Italy); Hector Moreno (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands); Diego Reyes (Real Sociedad/Spain); Arturo Rivas (Tigres/Mexico); Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres/Mexico)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Javier Aquino (Tigres/Mexico); Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven; Netherlands); Jesus Manuel Corona (Porto/Portugal); Jonathan Dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain); Carlos Esquivel (Toluca/Mexico), Javier Güémez (Club America/Mexico); Elias Hernandez (Club Leon/Mexico); Hector Herrera (Porto, Portugal)

FORWARDS (4): Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany); Raul Jimenez (Benfica/Portugal); Oribe Peralta (Club America/Mexico); Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad/Spain);

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES ROSTER NOTES:

• St. Vincent forward Tevin Slater leads all of CONCACAF in goals scored during 2018 World Cup qualifying with five.

• St. Vincent and the Grenadines feature Seattle Sounders FC 2 winger Oalex Anderson, who tallied four goals in 14 appearances for the USL side in 2015.

Jurgen Klinsmann Fact File

Jurgen Klinsmann became the 35th head coach in the history of the U.S. Men's National Team on July 29, 2011. Here is a look at the program's achievements since that time:

• Overall, Klinsmann has a 42-21-14 record, third on the U.S. MNT's all-time coaching wins list. The top five include: Bruce Arena (71), Bob Bradley (43), Klinsmann (42), Bora Milutinovic (30) and Steve Sampson (26).

• He won a record-setting 13 straight games at home from June 2, 2013 to Feb. 1, 2014, and has guided the team to an unbeaten record of 17-0-3 in its past 20 matches on home soil.

• He led the MNT to a 12-game winning streak in 2013, the longest in program history.

• The U.S. finished 2013 with a 16-4-3 record. The 16 victories and .761 winning percentage are all-time U.S. MNT records for a calendar year.

• The U.S. finished the final round of 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying atop the Hexagonal with a 7-1-2 overall record, including an unblemished 5-0-0 home record that was achieved by pitching clean sheets in all five matches.

• The team won six straight games en route to capturing the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, during which the squad scored a tournament-record 20 goals.

• Committed to challenging the group against the best, under Klinsmann, the United States has a 4-3-2 record against teams ranked in the top 10 in the world. With Klinsmann at the helm, the U.S. has also collected six historic victories:

◦ Beating four-time World Cup champion Italy for the first time

◦ Earning the first win against Mexico on Mexican soil

◦ Defeating Jamaica on the road for the first time in World Cup Qualifying

◦ Topping second-ranked Germany in U.S. Soccer's Centennial Celebration Match

◦ Beating Netherlands and Germany on the road this June

• Klinsmann's U.S. coaching debut was a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. During Klinsmann's abbreviated 2011 tenure, the USA's two victories included a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15).

• Klinsmann was named Germany's National Team manager in 2004 and guided Germany to a 20-6-8 record and a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He earned Coach of the Year honors in Germany, and two years later, he took over the head coaching position at Germany's most high-profile club, Bayern Munich.

• As a player, Klinsmann played 17 club seasons from 1981-98 with the following teams: Stuttgarter Kickers (1981-84), VfB Stuttgart (1984-89), Internazionale (1989-92), Monaco (1992-94), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95, 97-98), Bayern Munich (1995-97) and Sampdoria (1997-98). During that time, he scored 226 goals in 506 appearances. He was named German Player of the Year in 1988 and 1994 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995.

• Klinsmann earned 108 caps with the German National Team, scoring 47 goals. He participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and won the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

• Klinsmann was born on July 30, 1964, in Goppingen, Germany.

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