Revs, Quakes stock U.S. roster
who have already secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the MLS Cup Playoffs -- supply the largest contingent. Leading the way is MLS leading scorer (16 goals) Taylor Twellman, who will have another chance to try to record his first-ever goal for the full national team.
The 2004 Gatorade Rookie of the Year Clint Dempsey has been recalled to the U.S midfield after remaining with his club last weekend. Revs' goalkeeper Matt Reis is looking for his first appearance for the national team and he is joined by teammate Daniel Hernandez, who is also looking to accomplish that goal. Jay Heaps has earned just one cap for the U.S., while Steve Ralston is the most senior of the New England bunch with 31 previous appearances.
The San Jose Earthquakes -- winners of the 2005 Supporters' Shield and owners of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference -- will contribute the same three players to Wednesday's team as they did for the Costa Rica match. Forward Brian Ching was the only Quakes player to see any action in the loss, so midfielder Ricardo Clark and defender Danny Califf will be looking to break into the lineup.
Reigning MLS Cup champions D.C. United will send two players, as midfielder Brian Carroll, who has yet to make a senior team appearance, joins Santino Quaranta on the international stage. They will greet Columbus Crew midfielder Kyle Martino and defender Chad Marshall as teammates on their trip before the two sides square off in their regular season finale Saturday night at RFK Stadium in Washington.
Chicago Fire midfielder Justin Mapp is the final uncapped player on the roster, while the most experience member of the team is Real Salt Lake defender and longtime U.S. veteran Eddie Pope. Pope played the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica last weekend for his 73rd cap.
The only two roster positions occupied by European-based players are held by players on the books at Manchester United in the English Premier League. Goalkeeper Tim Howard went the distance in San Jose, Costa Rica, last weekend, while defender Jonathan Spector (currently on loan to Charlton Athletic of the English League Championship) didn't find his way off the bench.
Having already secured a spot at next summer's FIFA World Cup, Arena has the luxury of using the final World Cup qualifying match as a chance to evaluate talent. Panama is out of contention for the fourth-place spot in CONCACAF, which will earn a two-game playoff with the fifth-place team from Asia.
Trinidad & Tobago is in a heated battle with Guatemala for that spot. The Caribbean twin-island republic has a two-point lead ahead of their Central American rival heading into the last match day. Both teams play at home on Wednesday, with Guatemala hosting Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago playing host to Mexico, the matches kicking off simultaneously at 8 p.m. ET.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.