2017 Gold Cup
Saief, Rowe, Dwyer, Roldan Headline Gold Cup Roster
June 25, 2017
BRUCE ARENA cleaned up the mess he inherited from Jurgen Klinsmann, securing eight points from four World Cup qualifiers and setting the U.S. men's national team on a good path to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Because of his succes in the Hex, Arena was free to select an adventurous roster for the 2017 Gold Cup, and that's exactly what he did. Israeli-American Kenny Saief, who recently made his onetime switch to play his soccer for the United States, will join the roster in Nashville. So will Dom Dwyer, the Sporting Kansas City striker who became a U.S. citizen in March. Kelyn Rowe and Cristian Roldan also received their first call-ups.
“It’s a good roster with a nice blend of experienced, veteran players and a good group of newcomers as well,” Arena said. “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.”
Here's the complete roster for the group stage of the tournament. (Note: Teams can make up to six changes ahead of the knockout rounds.)
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), 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 Villafaña (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/BEL), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
Arena spoke about the four first-timers: “Well they’re all good players for sure. We were fortunate that Kenny just recently received his clearance from FIFA. He’s a player that we observed with Gent in Belgium. He plays on the left side of midfield, a position where we can use some help, and he’s a good left-footed player from what we’ve seen. It’ll be interesting to see him in camp to see how he fits in with our group.
"Dom Dwyer as we know has had a very good number of years in M.L.S. He’s a proven goal scorer, a hard worker and a left-footed striker which we’re a little short of as well. He’s a very competitive guy, and I think he has a game that may fit in very well at the international level.
“Roldan and Rowe continue to be outstanding players for their club teams. Although they’ve never been capped before, they’re very good players in Major League Soccer. Roldan is more of a No. 6 or No. 8 type of player, and Rowe can play in a number of positions. They’re good players, and it’s great to have them in camp.”
This team will play a warm-up match against Ghana on July 1 in East Hartford, Conn. The U.S. opens Gold Cup play on July 8 with a match against Panama.
What do you think of the roster? Like seeing the new guys? Happy to see Eric Lichaj in the mix? Share your take below.