Standard operating procedure under U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann has been to name the roster for coming qualifiers about the time the players are arriving. (Leading some reporters to joke about “scooping” U.S. Soccer by standing around the airport and Tweeting out the American soccer arrivals.)
With a little good fortune, U.S. Soccer may be able to release the roster on Thursday, more than a week ahead of next week’s match at Costa Rica. (It’s the rematch for the Snow Clasico, and don’t think for the second the Ticos and all their fans have forgiving or forgotten about that bit late-winter craziness.)
If the right notifications can go out to the right clubs and players, Klinsmann will announce and then talk about the roster sometime on Thursday, probably in a national conference call with media.
Either way, the team will begin gathering in Miami on Sunday, with some of the players not arriving until Monday. They will train in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday and then fly into Costa Rica on Tuesday afternoon.
That’s three days ahead of the Sept. 6 match and the TIcos’ Estadio Nacional. That early arrival is a departure from how Klinsmann and Co. did things earlier in World Cup qualifying, but it is how they ran the calendar back in June for a trip into Jamaica.
The United States won, 2-1, so clearly no reason to change there. Team officials say the additional time allows for adjustment to any mitigating circumstances – and a CONCACAF match in Central America is a “mitigating circumstance” waiting to happen, whether that’s about climate or field conditions or security concerns or whatever.
It’s also about making a statement, apparently. Klinsmann wants the team focused tightly on winning. Everything. Every time out.
Yes, the United States is in great shape in final round qualifying, all but mathematically booked for next year’s World Cup. The better likelihood may be that Klinsmann and Co. acquire those magical, final points to officially stamp passage four nights later in Columbus against Mexico.
Then again, the United States wins pretty much every time on the field these days; there is a national team record 12-game winning streak afoot. So, who knows?
We may know a little more within 48 hours about who will be around as the United States goes for 13 and, possibly, 14 in a row.