ARENA PICKS 23 FOR GOLD CUP
US national team head coach Bruce Arena released his 23-man roster on Sunday for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts play in July.
The main additions to the roster are Dom Dwyer and Kenny Saief. The English-born Sporting KC forward received his US citizenship in March this year to qualify him for the team. Saief, who was born in Florida and currently plays for KAA Gent in Belgium, earned a spot on the roster after having FIFA approve his one-time switch to play for the Americans instead of Israel.
Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson have been selected as the goalkeepers, leaving no place for FC Dallas netminder Jesse Gonzalez. The 22-year-old, who was among the players on the preliminary 40-man roster, is eligible to play either for the US or Mexico. There were reports that he was in the process of making the switch to represent the US internationally, but after missing out on making the team, it unknown what he will do next.
In defense, Arena has gone with a mix of experience and younger players, with Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez most likely to fill the central defense roles.
In the midfield, Saief will be joined by the likes of Alejandro Bedoya, Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Joe Corona and several others.
Dwyer will compete with Juan Agudelo and Jordan Morris to fill the attacking roles.
Many of the regulars such as Christian Pulisic, Fabian Johnson and Clint Dempsey will not be with the team for the tournament as it has been decided that some will remain with their teams in Major League Soccer or given rest prior to
returning to their club teams in Europe for preseason training.
However, Arena is confident the team he has selected can do the job.
"It's a good roster with a nice blend of experienced, veteran players and a good group of newcomers as well," Arena said in a statement on the US Soccer website. "There's good balance at every position. We can play a number of ways, and I think all these players have a desire to play for the U.S. and will be working hard. It will be a competitive camp. They are going to be highly motivated, very coachable and they have an opportunity to make a statement."
The 23 selected players have arrived in Nashville, Tennessee, for training. They will then go to East Hartford, Connecticut, to play a tune-up game against Ghana on July 1. They will return to Nashville for their Group B opener against Panama on July 8, before heading to Tampa, Florida, to take on Martinique on July 12. Their final group game will be on July 15 against Nicaragua in Cleveland, Ohio.
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC)
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Kenny Saief (Gent), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)