A day after the U.S. won its group in the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament, coach Bruce Arena made six changes to his 23-man roster ahead of Wednesday’s quarterfinal game in Philadelphia. The U.S. won’t know its next opponent until Group C play is concluded late Sunday.
Goalkeepers Tim Howard and Jesse Gonzalez, midfielders Michael Bradley and Darlington Nagbe, and forwards Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey join the roster. Gone are goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson; midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Cristian Roldan and Kelyn Rowe; and forward Dom Dwyer.
"We have added some experienced players to the roster that can help us in the knockout round,” Arena said in a statement. “The players leaving all made a good impression, and I'm optimistic for their future.”
Arena had said he intended to use the three group-play games to expand the national team player pool and Dwyer was among those who impressed. The British-born striker, who recently secured U.S. citizenship, scored in each of his first two caps with the national team.
Altidore, Bradley Dempsey and Howard each bring more than 100 caps’ worth of international experience to Arena’s team.
Granted his one-time change-of-association request by FIFA earlier this month, Gonzalez, who formerly played for Mexico, will take part in his first U.S. national team cap.
Saturday’s win left the U.S. unbeaten (6-0-5) 11 games into Arena’s second stint as coach of the national team. It’s the longest unbeaten streak for a U.S. coach since 2013, under Jurgen Klinsmann.
Arena, the former Galaxy manager, led the U.S. to World Cup appearances his first time around, reaching the quarterfinals in 2002. Saturday’s group title was the 13th for the U.S. in 14 Gold Cup tournaments..
Defenders: 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)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Gyasi Zardes (Galaxy)
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