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Klinsmann unveils veteran-heavy USMNT Gold Cup squad

USMNT Lineup vs Mexico (Getty)



Jurgen Klinsmann has long stated that his goal for this summer is to help the U.S. Men’s National Team win the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and he will be counting on an experienced group to help make that happen.

Klinsmann unveiled his final 23-man roster for the U.S.’s Gold Cup title defense, and it included 17 of the Americans that were in Brazil for last summer’s World Cup. Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, and Jozy Altidore headline the seasoned bunch, but there are surprise selections such as Brad Davis, Brad Evans, and Tim Ream.

There were some notable omissions from this U.S. side that was trimmed down from the preliminary 35-man squad that was announced earlier this month. Sporting Kansas City centerback Matt Besler, veteran fullback DaMarcus Beasley, and left back candidates Greg Garza and Brek Shea were among the players left off the initial Gold Cup roster, though they are all eligible to be among the maximum of six roster changes Klinsmann can make after the group stage.

The Americans will convene for training camp next week before taking on Guatemala in a friendly on July 3. The U.S. then begins group play against Honduras four days later before taking on Haiti and Panama on July 10 and 13, respectively.

Here is the USMNT’s full 23-man roster for the Gold Cup:


Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

Defenders (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)

Midfielders (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


What do you think of this USMNT roster? Whose inclusion/omission most surprises you? How many changes are you hoping to see Klinsmann make after the group stages?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Don’t mind the veteran heavy squad, but would like to have a few more youngsters, as sometimes you need them and that energy as a super-sub.

  2. Brad Davis – hard worker who can cross as good as anyone in the pool playing against a bunch of busses parked sending dangerous balls into Deuce and Jozy and/or Wondo.

    I don’t have a problem with this.

    There is ample wiggle room on the bench to change that strategy as games and the tournament progresses.

    The surprises (not end of world stuff) for me were that JK left Shea at home, included Ream and (even though the writing was on the wall) brought Yarbrough over Hamid.

  3. I really hope this doesn’t indicate that Klinsmann rates Yarbrough over Hamid. Yarbrough is fine, and he looked OK for the US in his first appearance (although he was not confident claiming the ball on corners), but Hamid is simply better. In my book, he’s the second-best keeper in our pool right now and he’s not far behind Guzan.

    Yarbrough is slightly above average keeper in Liga MX. MLS is generally known for having better goalkeeping than Liga MX, and Hamid is now the best goalkeeper in MLS. So that doesn’t add up for me.

    Now, it’s completely possible that Klinsmann just decided to let Hamid stick with his club since he likely wouldn’t be starting anyway, which is fine. If, however, that’s not the case, I’m extremely disappointed.

    • I agree totally. Perhaps JK is hoping to cap tie Yarborough—I don’t think he is cap tied but I could be wrong.

  4. I will admit that I may be rushing to judgment with this point. But, I just really don’t think that a Dempsey/Altidore tandem will work for this team going forward. We don’t typically use a lot width, although Yedlin and Zardes have brought that when played as wide midfielders. Because of this lack of width I really think we need some pace upfront to stretch the opposition’s backline and find space. Neither Altidore nor Dempsey really bring that. Assuming that we will play a diamond with 2 up top I think this team would really benefit from playing Zardes up top with either Altidore or Dempsey. This does leave an odd man out unless JK puts MB deeper into the midfield and plays Dempsey behind the front two. (which I don’t like the thought of given that MB is really starting to establish himself at the tip of the diamond)

  5. Davis and Wondo are wasted picks, They were wasted picks for the WC and are once more. Rimando and Evans questionable. I prefer Hamid, Morris, Besler, and Williams over them.

    Some pundits are claiming Klinsmann made some choices for rough and tumble CONCACAF. That arguments falls apart at Tim Chandler who was the worst player in the hemisphere in Honduras.

  6. The comments above suggest that there are a number of readers here who do not know much about the way a team plays like team. here are reason why it takes experience to win a game. Agreed thee are weakspots in the offense and in the midfield and in the defense. Wondo is not the problem. People kep ring up the Wondo miss. The team has 11 players. Any of them could ve scoredn the World Cup. They didn’t win because the team wasn’t good enugh. It is not ever one snle player. And what lost the game anganst he Earthquakes last time against Seattle? It was Dempsey maybe because he got a red card. It takes brains to play the game. That’s why Klinsmann chose the team.

  7. Of course I’m disappointed that more young guys aren’t on the roster. Then I think about how concacaf teams play against us. It’s never pretty. Most of the time we score the winner on a corner or set piece and just get hacked to shreds the rest of the game. Maybe vets are the way to go against this competition. And we especially need someone strong in the air and who actually pressures defense like Wondo against those teams. No one can say that Klinsmann hasn’t been fair to the young guys up to this point.

  8. This is a big tournament…I’m a little confused as to why people are surprised it is a veteran-heavy roster? Were you expecting a January or April camp-looking roster?

    Sheesh people, get a grip.

    • We all expected a veteran roster, but some of the veterans, specifically Wondo and Davis, are head-scratchers.

      I get that Morris and Wood aren’t available, but Agudelo would have been a good choice. And Shea over Davis would make sense.

      • Wondo is the 2nd leading scorer in MLS at the moment, so his club form is good. He’s shown he can poach goals against a CONCACAF bunker opponents, which is the role that we need.

        I love Jordan Morris as much as the next fan, but his blazing speed won’t do jack against 8 defenders in the box.

  9. no doubt Garza and Shea come in for KO rounds. either way, i hate that Davis and Wondo are on this team. much rather see Agudelo in there for Wondo. we’ll see which 6 get called in for the KO rounds though.

  10. Any Canadians in here? How good/bad is this roster/team?

    GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Valerenga
    GK- Quillan Roberts | CAN / Toronto FC
    GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK
    D- Marcel de Jong | USA / Sporting KC
    D- David Edgar | ENG / Birmingham City
    D- Andre Hainault | GER / VfR Aalen
    D- Dejan Jakovic | JPN / Shimizu S-Pulse
    D- Nik Ledgerwood | GER / Energie Cottbus
    D- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
    D- Karl W. Ouimette | USA / New York Red Bulls
    D- Adam Straith | NOR / Fredrikstad
    M- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas
    M- Kyle Bekker | USA / FC Dallas
    M- Julian de Guzman | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
    M- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Coventry City
    M- Jonathan Osorio | CAN / Toronto FC
    M- Pedro Pacheco | POR / Santa Clara
    M- Samuel Piette | ESP / Deportivo la Coruña
    M- Tosaint Ricketts | ISR / Hapoel Haifa
    M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
    M- Maxim Tissot | CAN / Montreal Impact
    F- Marcus Haber | ENG / Crewe Alexandra
    F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC

    • Not Canadian, but that’s a decent roster. They should make the quarterfinals and be a tough out to whoever faces them. That group is tough, given their level. Costa Rica, Canada, Jamaica and El Salvador feature relatively closely matched teams.

      Amazing to think that two of those four will advance while either Panama or Honduras will crash out.

      • Um. No. Not with a front line of Hernandez and Vela with a mid of Herrera, Guardado, and either of the Dos Santos Bros or Corona. This Mexico team is loaded and probably the favorite

      • Mexico were just as loaded for the 2014 WC qualifiers and they stank like a morgue with a week long power outage.

        Let’s see how they play when the games are for real.

  11. Its interesting how we have definitely seen an evolution from the youth heavy rosters to this, and how I think you see, still, that Klinsmann doesn’t fully trust his kinder. I also think that this is a final opportunity for some guys (davis, Wondo). It is also interesting to see how he does or doesn’t value club form (Ream, zusi, bedoya, being the prime examples there). And I have no idea what club restrictions went into this roster either. I mean, Yedlin needs to be training with Spurs, not at Gold Cup… (unless they are shopping him on loan, in which case this is his showcase). I bet you Morales is also being shopped via this tournament.

    • Turkmenbashy,

      The USMNT is not a club team. They are not building a team for next year.

      They are building for 2018 while still trying to win this year’s Gold Cup. And a big part of building for 2018 is insuring the US is in the 2017 Confed Cup, which is valuable to JK primarily because it is the best possible dress rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup.

      This USMNT roster is all about winning the 2015 Gold Cup and nothing else. It doesn’t matter if none of these guys ever play for the US again after this tournament and it doesn’t matter if the USMNT wins every single game 1-0 so long as they get out of their group and win the tournament.

      • Agree half these players won’t be here in 2017, Or 2018 but as of now the experience is why they r on the roster. I think it is a pretty weak roster compared to what we will have in 2 to 3 years.

      • I do not know if it is weaker or stronger than the US will have in 2 or 3 years, but it is definitely different. You are presuming the young guys will continue to improve and/or that their performance wasn’t enhanced by the play of the veterans around them. Whether the young ones will gain the savvy to setup each other is an open question.

  12. Altidore and Demsey up top – “Insanity” (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results).

    Bobby Wood – the one guy to score against Netherlands and Germany not anywhere in the line up.

    Brad Davis and Tim Ream out of nowhere? No trial to see how well they combine with the team?

    Playing friendlies at the highest level should be done for a reason, to see how your starting plays perform and stack up against top opposition. That said no Shea, no Orozco, no Wood, no Williams, no Morris, no Agudelo…..all players that where in the Euro camp???

    Well, we are talking about Klinsmann’s selections so…………Go USA

    • Wood isn’t on the roster because he’s getting his club situation sorted out. I’m disappointed neither Kitchen nor Hamid made the roster.

    • @ bizzy – Your Altidore and Dempsey comment is spot on. Complete insanity expecting them to produce goals like we saw out of Wood and Morris the last few games.

      Now is the time for Jozy to produce some wonder goals against some low level teams, not just some tap-ins, or else JK needs to start other players regularly. People can’t use the, “he’s still young” or “he’s not getting any service” excuses anymore.

      • Nice goals by Wood in the friendlies but he has scored 6 goals in 59 clubs games in his career and you’re complaining that Altidore and Dempsey are selected instead?! Wow!

    • “That said no Shea, no Orozco, no Wood, no Williams, no Morris, no Agudelo…..all players that where in the Euro camp???”

      This is the Gold Cup.

      It is being played in the US not in Europe.

      The USMNT are playing ugly CONCACAF teams not pretty UEFA teams.

      It will be a brutal, ugly, dirty 10 men behind the ball slug fest.

      If you think otherwise then you haven’t seen a lot of CONCACAF games.

  13. Wondo not a flashy choice but i can see that as simply to navigate through the easier teams. This isn’t a tournament to build but to simply win and avoid the one game playoff. If they make the confederations cup that is a tournament to test players for the world cup

  14. See you guys miss me when I am gone. Who will be the tall, lanky, attack-minded speedster in this roster that can run at players in a straight-line and sometimes score an impressive goal?!?? Who I ask you!!??

    • Dude, go back wondering (Olympic qualifier against El Salvador) what if you cleared that ball down the line/outside rather than trying to do something cute with the ball in you own half of the field and lost possession! That shut you up yet? Nice flashback.

  15. I wonder who Klinsi will change after the group stage. I could definitely see this lineup as a way to give some players (Wondo, Davis etc) one last hurrah before turning it over to the new young guys.

    I do not see anyone who is the speed off the bench when chasing a win late in the game. Yedlin?

    Would like to have seen Morris. He has done so well..

    Garza missing is a bit of a headscratcher

  16. Here are my thoughts on why Wondo is included.

    Some of our games, we will control 60+ percent of the possession so having speed might not be as big a factor in those games, we need the poachers. I figure he will be switched out after group stages for fresh legs to run at teams that will not have bunkeritis.

    Also, in regards to who is excluded, we will never understand what goes on in training at to and from the hotel. Maybe some guys are the last on the bus, hard to wake up in the morning, always texting type individuals which will drive a coach crazy.

  17. Should be there – Morris – kid showed a lot and doesn’t have a club pre-season to concentrate on

    Shouldn’t be there – Davis – form has been awful this season and doesn’t add anything at this level

  18. Wondo over Morris isn’t that surprising. It means he rates Wondo higher as a pure finisher than Morris and anticipates that we’re going to be seeing a bunch of loaded boxes with 10 guys piled behind the ball…which I would expect as well. Morris is a guy we could see called up later in the tournament, particularly against Mexico, when his speed could allow him to get in behind their D.

    Brad Evans, Brad Davis, and Tim Ream are two others Klinsmann obviously rates, at least against CONCACAF opposition. The main knock on those three is speed, and again, we’re not likely to see super-fast opponents that run the field and get after us. What they do very well is pass…again, the thought process there is they’ll distribute extremely well out of the back and help the US keep the ball.

    I am surprised a bit at no Shea or Garza. Aside from that, no real shockers.

    • Yup, good point. The tournament rules allow the US to essentially have one team to play against the lesser sides that will park the bus, and another to play against the skill teams in the later rounds.

      • Yeah, I mean, if everyone does their job the US will play 1 “skill” team… Mexico/Costa Rica and that only in the final. With some luck, we’ll get to play 2 b/c someone is not doing very well.

        So not sure how much help that player switch thing will be.

  19. Here’s the projected first choice XI:

    As always the defense seems hard to figure out but I think Klinsmann wants to group I listed every possible chance to win these jobs as they are the most talented players at each position, at least on paper. Diskerud and Bedoya will pinch inside the diamond mid as they are comfortable playing centrally for club and this will allow Johnson and Chandler to fly up the wings. Pretty standard from Coach K as we’ve come to expect.

    • solid. kinda worried about Jozy-Dempsey up top, obviously our two best forwards but they just don’t seem like a good tandem or in good form but the rest of the team should be solid and they will find their form. Zardes, Yedlin, Johannsson and Zusi off the bench — looking forward to it!

      • Definitely. I don’t like the idea of Bradley, Beckerman and Mix all in the starting line-up. That line-up has too many holding-midfielder’ish type of players. Mix seems to work best as a second-half sub.

      • Typical response.. bring up just one game (the exception to the rule), and ignore all the other games, which make up the majority of Diskerud’s USMNT career so far.

      • The Germany game was Mix’s last one wasn’t it?

        So that would be a perfect game to mention if you are interested in where he is right now.

        So you would rather focus on the games where Mix was jut starting out when evaluating a him? If that were a good idea why don’t you look at Mikey’s first ten to twenty USMNT games.

        Going by your approach Mikey might not be on the Gold Cup team now.

      • JK is a fitness freak…no surprise that two guys with a reputation of not always being in the best shape, Benny and Besler, aren’t on the roster.

      • I’d say Besler may have ended his USMNT hopes when he chirped back at Klinsmann about how it should be OK that they were out of shape in preseason.

        JK has problems with people who have problems with the fact that JK expects his guys to be fitness freaks. Buy-in is huge to him. If you aren’t bought in, your phone doesn’t ring.

        Not an especially subtle message, there.

        I suppose, alternately, it’s possible Vermes at SKC prevailed upon Klinsmann to not take both his DP’s, but then, Klinsmann seemed to have little problem taking both players from Toronto or both from LA Galaxy, so that seems…unlikely. Klinsmann might be willing to work with a coach over a friendly, but for a Gold Cup that could punch the USMNT’s ticket to the Confederations Cup? Unlikely. He’ll call up who he rates, there.

  20. Not the sexiest of rosters to say the least. If we get the job done, however, then it’s a job well done. This is a blue collar roster! Let’s just “get ‘er done!”.

  21. Last summer many people said Klinsmann was building for the future with his roster. Well I don’t think many will be saying that about this group.

  22. Davis has done nothing to deserve being on this team. Hell, Brek Shea has more goals for the US this year the Davis has ever.

    • That’s probably because Davis isn’t supposed to be a goal scorer. Here’s on the roster for one reason…late game set pieces.

      • Isn’t that what Zusi is for? I think we possibly see a Shea for Davis swap after the group stage.

      • That is the argument I seem to remember people making about Davis’s inclusion on the world cup roster as well. Then he started the game against Germany and was subbed out by halftime. Like it or not, Klinsmann seems to think he is a viable option as a full-service left midfielder, not just a player for “late game set piece” emergencies.

  23. Wait Tim Ream actually made it? Long overdue.

    As for Wondo, Zusi, Davis, and Rimando live it up now because they wouldn’t have made my roster. I would have had Evans in that group but he’s shown some worth at the RB spot (at least as a stop gap option).

    I’m a little surprised at no Shea/Garza or Agudelo but that is understandable.

    Klinsmann can frustrate with his selections at times but the recent friendlies have definitely bought him some leeway with the supporters.

    • Rimando is a proven backup. With Guzan there, Rimando isn’t going to start (barring injury or complete Guzan meltdown).

  24. Would have liked to see Jordan Morris selected, he could have got some games in the group stage where the opponents are relatively easy.

    • NotAFanofPeru,

      We already know he can score on the best so what do you prove by having him score on the weaker teams? Build up his confidence? Right.

  25. Off-cycle year? If I’m not mistaken, the winner of this Gold Cup gets the go-ahead nod for entry into the 2017 Confederations Cup.. Could be wrong, but I believe this is a extremely important Gold Cup to win for the Red, White, & Blue. LETS GO YOU YANKS!!!

    • US will have a shot at the Confederations Cup even if they lose this tournament. because they won two years ago, they would have a play-off with the winner of this Gold Cup to determine the Confederations cup slot. If the US wins this one, point is moot. They changed this 3 years ago, I believe.

    • This year’s winner (if not the USMNT) will play a one game playoff with us to see who goes to the Confed Cup in 2017.

      • Agreed on both points. Wonod over Morris is a head scratcher. Seems like Morris has far more upside. I’ve never been overly impressed with “calm on the ball” Ream.

      • Ream has been Bolton’s POY 2 straight seasons and they rave about him across the pond but he hasn’t really gotten a full opportunity until now with this current regime so he’s doing something right. Players who have impressed far less than Ream have been called up consistently so it seems JK will continue to keep us guessing!

      • Ronniet,

        Are you saying because Bolton loves him that Ream is the best center back/left back available to the USMNT?

        Have you seen him play?

      • I sure have, and it’s been a pleasant surprise how well he’s played. I unlike others, don’t hold grudges when a player was performing inconsistently or not up to it in years past. I tend to look at how a player is playing now or how he’s progressed and clearly since TR has left MLS he has become a better player and deserves to be on this roster! Again, you don’t become Bolton’s POY 2yrs in a row for nothing! He’s definitely more deserving than Besler, and even Omar Gonzalez who is probably the most inconsistent CB in the pool!

      • He may not be our BEST CB/LB but we’ll never know how high his level can is if we don’t play him, and continue to play known quantities game after game. Garza hasn’t ripped it up, Brek Shea is Brek Shea and then there is FabJo who is probably our most versatile and positive player! Why not give him a go at LB?? He can pass with the best of them and his defending has improved. Don’t hate on Bolton either, it’s a club that has been very positive and welcoming to american players and has let us actually GET games!

      • Ronniet,

        It seems JK feels Ream’s form in training in the USMNT practices does not warrant Ream playing above the others.

        I assume you haven’t seen all these USMNT practices.

        And I find it hard to believe that JK has a personal grudge against Ream and keeps calling him in just to humiliate him by giving him one minute or not playing him at all. I tend to go with the idea that the player hasn’t done enough to force his way onto the field.

        From what I’ve seen if JK does not rate you he doesn’t waste any time. He just does not call you in.

        Earning a cap for the USMNT should not be easy in any way. Nor should it be a popularity contest.

        Oh and Bolton did not LET Holden onto the field. He forced his way on.

        And Bolton did not LET Ream on, the field. In fact he sat a lot early on and eventually fought his way into the line up,. something most on SBI seem to think Yedlin should not have to do.

    • remember he can call in a few different players in the middle of the tournament. 1,2,or 3 surprises in the initial roster should be taken with a grain of salt

  26. this makes perfect sense because it’s an off-cycle year for world cup preparations. There will be another gold cup before the next world cup.

    great long term move by Klinsi.

  27. Chris Wondo must be one helluva practice player.
    Also, you have to bring in Garza. I know Ream and Brad Evans have played the fullback roles but I think we’re missing a bit of true fb depth.

    • ya! i thought Garza or Shea were guaranteed to be there. i guess Chandler or Johnson will be playing LB leaving Evans or Yedlin at RB, Morales (RB) and Ream (LB) can swing over there too. You have to assume Shea will be one of the guys they bring in after the group stage.

    • You also have a db slotted as a midfielder. Andre Yedlin does know his way around the backline. Also remember JK can make up to 6 roster changes from the 35 he named earlier.

      They also have Zardes as a midfielder, even though he’s a forward. Like many young players, they’ll work like dogs to get any position in the starting 11, even though he’ll shine at forward

      • Zardes is a forward in the likes of Theo Walcott. His more of a true winger with his pace and ability to create with deft passing.

      • Yep, beat me to it. The few times I’ve seen him with the Galaxy, he looks dangerous making those slanting runs from wing.

  28. Davis, Zusi, and Wondo are the guys I would rather not see anymore. Alfredo Morales has never impressed me much either. Oh well, good luck boys!

      • I would have agreed with all a year ago or so, but Zusi has won me over a bit as at least an option on the wing. Not great by any stretch, but serviceable in a shallow pool.

      • Sorry, but I was arguably the WORST player at the world cup. Here’s hoping I turn things around.

      • You really think the group stage is a walk over. Weakest team: Haiti. Take a look at our last two results with them. We should beat them, however; the other two Panama and Honduras, I am not sure anymore, but a win in those two games is likely. So, 6-7 points in group stage is my most optimistic prediction for USMNT, with four being the less optimistic view, however unlikely.

    • As an Earthquakes fan, I’m not thrilled to have Chris W. on the GC roster either. Although he’s not scoring a lot for the Quakes due to Kinnear playing him out of position in the midfield, he’s a big part of our team and probably won’t start for Klinsmann anyway.

    • I actually like this seelction. Lots of experience in defense, all the mids you could expect to start (some won’t), the strongest set of forwards we have against packed defenses (Wondo’s ability to get open in a crowd will be important when the opponents put 10 or 11 players in the PA, while the younger, faster players’ speed would be wasted in such a situation).

      I wold not be surprised if Wondo is replaced for a player with more speed in the final rounds, but for the bunker and counter tactics the US will face in the group stage, he is a great choice.


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