Two former Billikens named to United States’ Gold Cup roster
CHICAGO — The U.S. roster for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup will look a lot like the American team at last year’s World Cup.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected 17 of the 23 players he took to Brazil last year, adding goalkeeper William Yarbrough; defenders Ventura Alvarado, Brad Evans and Tim Ream; and midfielders Alfredo Morales and Gyasi Zardes.
They replace goalkeeper Tim Howard; defenders DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron; and midfielders Julian Green and Jermaine Jones. Howard has taken a year off from the national team following the World Cup; Jones had surgery June 12 for a sports hernia.
U.S. captain Clint Dempsey remained on the roster after being given a three-game suspension last week by Major League Soccer for referee abuse. If MLS had found Dempsey guilty of referee assault, the ban would have been a minimum six club matches and also sidelined him for the start of the Gold Cup.
"It’s something that nobody wants to see. It’s a mistake, and mistakes happen," Klinsmann said in quotes released by the U.S. Soccer Federation. "So, obviously, when he comes in next week to Nashville in preparation for our friendly game with Guatemala, we’ll sit down and talk through that and we’ll go from there."
The Americans won the 2013 Gold Cup and with a repeat title this year would earn a berth at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. If another nation wins the Gold Cup, it would meet the U.S. in a playoff for the Confederations Cup berth.
Klinsmann cut 12 players from the preliminary roster announced June 10: goalkeeper Bill Hamid; defenders Beasley, Besler, Greg Garza, Michael Orozco and Brek Shea; midfielders Joe Corona, Perry Kitchen and Lee Nguyen; and forwards Juan Agudelo, Alan Gordon and Jordan Morris.
Each advancing team can change up to six players for the knockout rounds, but the replacements have to come from the original 35-man roster.
Just six of the American players took part in the 2013 Gold Cup: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud, Omar Gonzalez, Nick Rimando and Chris Wondolowski.
After the exhibition against Guatemala on July 3 at Nashville, Tennessee, the Americans open their title defense in the 12-nation tournament against Honduras four days later at Frisco, Texas. They play Haiti on July 10 at Foxborough, Massachusetts, and finish the first round three days later against Panama at Kansas City, Kansas.
The U.S. is seeking to reach its sixth straight Gold Cup final, which will be July 26 at Philadelphia.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Leon, Mexico)
Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (America, Mexico), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Brad Evans (Seattle), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Tim Ream (Bolton, England)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes, France), Michael Bradley (Toronto), Brad Davis (Houston), Mix Diskerud (New York City), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt, Germany), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham, England), Gyasi Zardes (Los Angeles), Graham Zusi (Kansas City)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto), Clint Dempsey (Seattle), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose).