March 15, 2017 / 10:29 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. boss Arena recalls veterans for crucial qualifiers

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Mar 13, 2017; Dayton, OH, USA; Kansas State Wildcats head coach Bruce Weber during a practice day before the first four of the NCAA Tournament at Dayton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The United States have recalled veterans Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama, coach Bruce Arena announced on Wednesday.

Striker Dempsey returns after being sidelined since last year's Copa America with an irregular heartbeat, while goalkeeper Howard has recovered from an adductor fracture sustained in November's 2-1 qualifying loss to Mexico.

"Clint has a history that is almost second to none," said Arena, who replaced Juergen Klinsmann soon after that defeat.

"We know there are some good days still ahead for Clint. He's made great progress in preseason and his first two games with Seattle, and we think he's a player that can still help us in these games -- perhaps at a reduced role -- but a player that still has a tremendous history of scoring goals and creating opportunities."

The US lost 4-0 to Costa Rica right after going down to Mexico and need to start putting points on the board at home to Honduras on March 24 and away to Panama four days later if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for Russia 2018.

LA Galaxy midfielder Jermaine Jones was included in the 24-man squad even though suspension will keep him out of the Honduras game.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Frank Pingue

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