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Spanish giant-killers in US squad to face Mexico

7 August 2009 22:25

CHICAGO (AFP) - Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard were among 17 players from the US squad that upset top-ranked Spain at the Confederations Cup to be named Friday for a key World Cup 2010 qualifier next week at Mexico.

The Americans stunned the Spaniards in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup and led Brazil at half-time in the final only to lose the championship match.

But they served notice they could again be a factor in the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010.

Dempsey scored three times in the Confederations Cup while Howard, unbeaten in five matches against Mexico, was named the top goalkeeper in the tournament.

Oguchi Onyewu, whose stellar defensive work inspired a transfer to AC Milan, was also named to the 20-man US lineup for the CONCACAF showdown next Wednesday at Mexico City, where 100,000 supporters will bolster the host Tri-Colores.

American squads have never won in Mexico, losing 22 times and playing to a goalless draw in 1997.

"We are excited about the challenge and the opportunity," said US coach Bob Bradley. "Mexico is a very good team, and we are all aware of their great success playing in Mexico City.

"Our team continually tries to raise the bar and certainly the chance to win for the first time in Mexico is a welcome opportunity."

Costa Rica leads North American regional qualifying with 12 points to 10 for the US squad. Honduras is third with Mexico in fourth. Only the top three teams from the region are assured a berth in South Africa next year.

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), Tim Howard (Everton/ENG)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/FRA), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover/GER), Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan/ITA), Jonathan Spector (West Ham/ENG)

Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus/DEN), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca/MEX)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Villarreal/ESP), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Charlie Davies (FC Sochaux/FRA), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)

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