KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, June 24, 2015
United States national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has trimmed his 35-man roster down to 23 as they prepare to defend their CONCACAF Gold Cup crown in July.

The German-born coach has put together an experienced team as 17 players were a part of the roster at the 2014 World Cup while 10 were on previous Gold Cup teams.

This year's tournament provides a big incentive for the U.S. as they can guarantee a place in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia - the precursor to the 2018 World Cup - if they can retain the cup.

If they fail, they will then face this year's Gold Cup winner in a playoff to see who will represent CONCACAF at the competition.

The opportunity to play in Russia ahead of the World Cup is the main reason behind Klinsmann's choice to put together such an experienced team.

"Our approach for putting together the roster for this summer's Gold Cup, which is very, very important to us, is obviously to do everything possible to win this competition," said Klinsmann on the U.S. Soccer website.

"Winning it would qualify us for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, so putting the pieces together is very crucial. That's why we came out with a roster full of quality, but also a lot of experience; players that are used to playing in the CONCACAF region and also younger players that came through the ranks over the last year that made a stamp on the senior National Team program."

"It's an exciting roster, and obviously we have a chance to make some changes after the group stage if necessary. We put all of these things into consideration, and we believe we have a very, very strong group that can win this prestigious tournament."

The confidence level of the U.S. team is very high after coming off two big wins in friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany, so anything less than winning the Gold Cup will be considered a massive failure.

The team will play a tune-up game against Guatemala on July 3 in Nashville, Tennessee, before starting their title defense in a Group A encounter against Honduras on July 7 in Frisco, Texas.

The roster

Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)

Midfielders (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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