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NEW YORK (AP/105.3 The Fan) – Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron are back on the U.S. roster after lengthy layoffs as coach Bruce Arena made large-scale changes, hoping to spark the Americans to a rebound in World Cup qualifying.
The U.S. coach from 1998-2006, Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November after a 0-2 start in the final round. For the first competitive matches of his second stint, he selected just 13 of the 26 players on Klinsmann’s final roster.
Six players earned selection with their performances during Arena’s January training camp: defenders Jorge Villafana and Walker Zimmerman; midfielders Kellyn Acosta, Sebastian Lletget and Dax McCarty; and 37-year-old goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
FC Dallas teammates, Zimmerman (vs Jamaica on 2/3) and Acosta (vs Iceland on 1/30), earned their first senior caps earlier in 2017.
Zimmerman, 23, was a first-round pick by FC Dallas in the 2013 SuperDraft.
Acosta, a homegrown talent from Plano, was signed by FC Dallas in July of 2012.
Fourteen of the players are from Major League Soccer, up from 10 in November.
The U.S. hosts Honduras on March 24 and is at Panama four days later.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough/ENG), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER)
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)