SANDY — Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando has been called up to the U.S. Men's National Team for its June 11 and June 18 World Cup Qualifying matches.
Rimando will join the U.S. team on June 9 in Seattle ahead of its June 11 World Cup Qualifying match at CenturyLink Field against Panama. The 33-year-old 'keeper will remain with the team through its June 18 qualifier against Honduras at Real Salt Lake's Rio Tinto Stadium. Rimando will not miss any of RSL's MLS matches while with the national team.
"It's a great feeling and an honor to be called up for the next set of very important World Cup Qualifying games," Rimando said. "Having one of the games in my home stadium makes it truly special not only to represent the U.S.., but also RSL and I'll be ready if called upon."
Called in for virtually every U.S. camp last year, Rimando was a part of the U.S. World Cup Qualifying squad that beat RSL FW Alvaro Saborio and Costa Rica 1-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park outside of Denver on March 22 and tied Mexico 0-0 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on March 26. The veteran goalie has six career caps with the Stars-and-Stripes, with his last coming on Jan. 25, 2012 in a 1-0 friendly win at Panama.
Rimando is one of four MLS goalies who will rotate through the U.S. camp, which will begin on May 26 in Cleveland and wrap on June 19 in Salt Lake. The U.S. will play friendlies against Belgium in Cleveland on May 29 and against Germany in Washington, D.C. on June 2 before playing World Cup Qualifiers at Jamaica on June 7, against Panama in Seattle on June 11 and against Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 18. English Premier League GK's Tim Howard and Brad Guzan will be with the U.S. team throughout its camp; Chicago Fire GK Sean Johnson, D.C. United GK Bill Hamid and Houston Dynamo GK Tally Hall will each put in a stint in camp before Rimando joins the U.S. on June 9.
"We have some excellent backup keepers starting with Nick Rimando, who's playing an outstanding season for Real Salt Lake and has done great with us every time he's come into camp," said U.S. Men's National Team Manager Jurgen Klinsmann. "We're also excited about the goalkeepers who come after him: Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson and Tally Hall. It's exciting that we can rotate them a bit in these upcoming couple of weeks because we don't want MLS goalies to miss too many of their games."
Real Salt Lake MF Kyle Beckerman and DF Tony Beltran were not called into the upcoming camp after being a part of the squad for the March World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. Beckerman's exclusion was a bit of a surprise, as the Claret-and-Cobalt captain has been a regular during Klinsmann's tenure.
Beckerman is expected to be named to the U.S. roster for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. will play Cuba in a Gold Cup Group Stage match at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 13. RSL MF and U.S. Under-20 international Luis Gil could also be called to the Gold Cup squad following the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey in June and July.
"There are definitely some 50-50 cases for players that we moved toward the Gold Cup where we want to have a very strong roster as well, and we are very excited about that tournament," Klinsmann said. "A player like Kyle Beckerman could be in this camp, but having him in the Gold Cup is a tremendous value.
"There are a lot of players out there on our radar screen," Klinsmann continued. "We want to watch the Under-20's play in Turkey for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. We have some players there on the list that we want to introduce to the senior National Team program one step at a time, so we work on all fronts."
The U.S. is currently in second-place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal with a 1-1-1 record through three matches. The top-three finishers in the 10-game Hexagonal automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with the fourth-place finisher playing a home-and-home series against New Zealand this November for one spot in the World Cup.
U.S. Soccer will hold a media conference call with USMNT Manager Jurgen Klinsmann on Friday.
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