It was announced earlier today by U.S. Men's National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann that D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid and forward Eddie Johnson have been called up to the U.S. squad that will play Mexico next Wednesday. The game will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona at 11pm EST and will be shown live on ESPN2 and UNiMas.
Since this match does not fall on FIFA fixture date, European clubs are not required to release their players, which gives MLS-based Americans a chance to play. Some players, like Johnson, are looking to make their final case as to why they should be named in the final World Cup squad, while others like Hamid are looking to make their case for future national team call-ups.
Let's take a quick look at what this call-up means for each player.
For Eddie Johnson this match is critical for him in getting back his scoring touch.
As many D.C. United fans are painfully aware of, Johnson has yet to score in his first two regular season matches and thus far has only been able to muster a handful of shots on target. With forwards like Chris Wondolowski, Aron Johansson, and Juan Agudelo scoring goals for their respective squads, Johnson needs to have a good run of games for D.C. United and a solid showing on Wednesday night to secure his spot for Brazil.
Johnson brings a lot of international experience (62 caps and 19 goals for the National Team) but that means little if he cannot find his scoring touch for both club and country.
As for Bill Hamid, this is yet another opportunity for him to show that he should be in the conversation for the top three goalkeepers in the United States pool after the World Cup.
With Tim Howard and Nick Rimando likely retiring from National Team duty after the World Cup, that leaves two spots vacant going forward for the U.S. The other goalkeeper in this camp, aside from Rimando, is Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson who is also thought to be a leading candidate for the number two spot role in Brazil.
Perhaps Saturday's match between D.C. United and the Chicago Fire will have the stipulation that the winner gets to play on Wednesday?
Both Johnson and Hamid are expected to depart for U.S. training camp on Sunday after D.C. United's match against the Chicago Fire (3/29 4PM NBC Sports Network) and will be returning back to D.C. next Thursday.