Jurgen Klinsmann announced on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook page that D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum is on the United States roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The USMNT will host Mexico on Friday in Columbus, then go on the road to play Costa Rica Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica.
Birnbaum ends his 2016 as it began, playing for the US. He has picked up 9 caps this year, scoring a goal in January against Iceland, and started in the crucial 4-0 win over Guatemala back in March. Whether he appears in these two games is intriguing: Geoff Cameron is injured and may not be available, and Stoke City coach Mark Hughes went so far as to suggest publicly that Klinsmann not even call Cameron in for the travel and evaluation. If Cameron cannot play, Birnbaum would be battling Omar Gonzalez to partner John Anthony Brooks.
Former D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen was omitted, apparently in favor of fellow holding midfielder Caleb Stanko.
The full roster is as follows: