US Soccer announced today that James Sands, a current starter for NYCFC in MLS, who has seven national team caps to his name, as been added to the roster ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Jamaica.
With both Weston McKennie and Miles Robinson unavailable for the game due to respective yellow- and red-card suspensions, the versatile 21 year-old has been brought in as cover if needed for either of their positions on the field.
McKennie’s goal on Friday night to complete the familiar dos-a-cero scoreline was dampened by his second yellow card of qualifying, forcing a subsequent game off, while Robinson picked up a second yellow of the game and was sent off in the 89th minute, also meaning that he will miss a game.
While he will likely not be called upon to start on Tuesday in Kingstown, Sands can cover for either player, as he has had extensive time as both a defensive midfielder and central defender for his club team.
The New York native has also received seven caps so far this year and has the trust of Berhalter, after starting the final five games of the Gold Cup-winning team this past summer in central defense, and also earning his first start in qualification in the midfield in September’s 4-1 win in Honduras.
His club team NYCFC are still in the running for the MLS Cup after finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, with a date against Atlanta United FC on the Sunday following the international break.
The Americans will face Jamaica at 5pm Eastern time on Tuesday, in Kingston’s Independence Park.