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US coach Bruce Arena names 26 for next World Cup qualifiers

FILE - Dortmund's Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring the first goal of the game against Wolfsburg, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund in the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany, Saturday Aug. 19, 2017. (Peter Steffen / Associated Press)
FILE - Dortmund's Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring the first goal of the game against Wolfsburg, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund in the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany, Saturday Aug. 19, 2017. (Peter Steffen / Associated Press)

Teen phenom Christian Pulisic is coming back from the Bundesliga to lead the U.S. as coach Bruce Arena goes with depth at every position in choosing his roster for the next round of World Cup qualifying matches, naming 26 players who all have been part of the national team at some point this year.

The 18-year-old Pulisic, who had a goal and three assists in a 6-0 qualifying victory over Honduras on March 24 then another assist to Clint Dempsey in a 1-1 draw at Panama four days later, scored Dortmund’s first Bundesliga goal of the season in the 22nd minute of a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg on Aug. 19.

The Americans will play Costa Rica on Friday – a rematch of the Gold Cup semifinal – in Harrison, New Jersey, where players began reporting Sunday for training camp. Then the U.S. is at Honduras four days later. The hex concludes against Panama on Oct. 6 in Orlando, Florida, and at Trinidad and Tobago four days after.

Part of Arena’s thinking to have so many options at every spot is six players face cautions going into the next match, meaning they will draw a one-game suspension with another yellow card: forward Jozy Altidore, midfielder Paul Arriola, midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, defender Matt Besler, midfielder Michael Bradley and defender Geoff Cameron.

On the roster, 15 players have made five or more appearances this year for Arena, including three of the top four being defenders.


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