United States soccer fans will notice several omissions on the USA’s Gold Cup roster. Veterans like Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore were all missing from the initial tournament roster.
This has little to do with their current talent level, and more to do with manager Bruce Arena’s desire to get a closer look at younger players. Arena is prioritizing World Cup qualifying over the tournament. Arena spoke with US Soccer about the Gold Cup roster construction.
It’s a good roster with a nice blend of experienced, veteran players and a good group of newcomers as well. 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’re going to be highlight motivated, very coachable and they have an opportunity to make a statement…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.
The omission of the veterans on the initial roster does not mean they cannot be added later. As Sounder at Heart points out, players can be added between the Group Stage and Knockout Round if the United States advances. As many as six changes will be allowed.
Here’s a look at the 2017 US Gold Cup Roster courtesy of US Soccer.
USA Gold Cup Roster 2017
GK Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)
GK Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
GK Sean Johnson (New York City FC)
D Matt Besler (Sporting KC)
D Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/Mexico)
D Matt Hedges (FC Dallas)
D Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/England)
D Matt Miazga (Chelsea/England)
D Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/Canada)
D Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna/Mexico)
D Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
M Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)
M Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/Mexico)
M Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union)
M Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico)
M Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire)
M Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union)
M Christian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
M Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution)
M Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
F Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution)
F Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC)
F Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)