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Klinsmann picks roster for final World Cup qualifiers

The SportsXchange

Three key players will miss the United States men's soccer team's final two games in World Cup qualifying.

Clint Dempsey is out due to a hamstring injury, and Michael Bradley and Fabian Johnson are sidelined because of ankle injuries. All three will skip the games Friday in Kansas City, Kan., against Jamaica and Oct. 15 in Panama City against Panama.

The U.S. team already is assured of a berth in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, as is Costa Rica, but the other final teams in the CONCACAF regional finals continue to battle for spots. The third-place CONCACAF automatically advances to Brazil, while the fourth-place team will head to a playoff against New Zealand to determine another berth.

"For the rosters against Jamaica and Panama, the thought process was the same as all the previous qualifiers," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "We want to win these games. We want to finish off the year on a high note, but we also want to make the game against Jamaica a special one. It's our last home game of 2013, and we have had tremendous support from all the fans throughout the country wherever we have played. We want to recognize that and give the fans a real good game and three points."

Right back Brad Evans returns to the U.S. team after recovering from a calf injury, and midfielder Sacha Kljestan is back after being in and out of the roster all year.

Klinsmann added that finishing on top of the CONCACAF qualifying standings is a goal. Through eight of 10 games, United States is in first place with 16 points. Costa Rica is second with 15.

"We don't view these games as the end of World Cup qualifying," Klinsmann said. "For us, it's the start of preparations for the World Cup, and therefore we have to continue to raise the bar."

The full U.S. roster for the Jamaica and Panama games:

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

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)

Midfielders: Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna)
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