Former UC Irvine and Lancaster High School standout Miguel Ibarra and former Irvine Strikers forward Bobby Wood were part of the 25- player roster announced Tuesday for the U.S. men’s national soccer team’s final two games of 2014.
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, a former UCLA and Montclair High School standout, was among 16 players from the U.S. team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup selected for the team that will play exhibitions against Colombia Friday in London and Ireland Nov. 18 in Dublin.
“We want to finish 2014 on a high note and continue to try to meet the top teams eye to eye,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.
“In these last two games we want our veterans to really become mentors both on and off the field and we want to see our youngsters take advantage of the opportunity to make their case and grow from the experience. These performances will set the tone for 2015.”
Ibarra, a 24-year-old forward who plays for Minnesota United FC of the second-division North American Soccer League, made his national team debut Oct. 14 in a 1-1 tie with Honduras in an exhibition at Boca Raton, Florida
“Really excited to have another opportunity to represent my country,” Ibarra wrote on his Twitter account. “Can’t wait to get to London and start training with the guys.”
Ibarra is the only player from the modern NASL, which began play in 2011, to be called into the U.S. men’s national team. He was voted as the NASL’s Player of the Month for September.
Ibarra was Lancaster High School’s offensive MVP in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons. He was a second-team All-American selection at Taft College in 2009 and the Big West Conference’s co-Offensive Player of the Year as a UC Irvine senior in 2011.
Wood, who plays for the second division German team 1860 Munich, has been selected for all five of the U.S.’ post-World Cup games, playing in each of the last two.