The United States men’s soccer team will rely on a mix of old and new faces as it digs for regional-soccer treasure.
Team USA head coach Bruce Arena announced his 23-man roster for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday on the U.S. Soccer Federation’s website. USA is seeking to reclaim the Gold Cup by winning the tournament for the first time since 2013 and the sixth time in team history.
Here’s the United States’ initial Gold Cup roster, per USSoccer.com.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 54/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 2/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 39/1), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 39/1), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 2/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 11/0), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 2/0), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX; 6/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 47/5)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 8/0), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 5/2), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 60/2), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 17/2), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 6/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 0/0), Kenny Saief (Gent/BEL; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 31/6)
FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 23/3), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 15/2)
This isn’t the United States’ strongest squad, as Arena opted against using most of the key players upon whom he has relied since he replaced Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach last November. However, the Gold Cup offers players the chance to impress him as the 2018 FIFA World Cup approaches.
“Anytime you’re in the midst of World Cup Qualifying and very close to not only qualifying, but being at a World Cup a year later, you have to have a competitive environment,” Arena told USSoccer.com. “These players will push to position themselves to be a big part of things moving forward.
“We want to continue to build on what we started in January and improve the program. Hopefully we find other players that can compete for spots for the camps in September and October, and then players that will continue to move forward and can possibly envision being part of our team in Russia in 2018.”
New England Revolution standouts Rowe and Agudelo will represent their Major League Soccer club at the Gold Cup. Agudelo has played 23 games for the United States. Having played for the U.S. at various youth levels, Rowe is in line to make his first senior appearance.
Dwyer, Roldan and Saief, who switched his international allegiance from Israel to USA, also are newcomers to Team USA.
The tournament will begin July 7 with a French Guiana vs. Canada and Costa Rica vs. Honduras doubleheader. The U.S. will open its tournament July 8 against Panama. The final will be on July 26 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images
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