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Dwyer, Miazga, Roldan headline U.S. Gold Cup squad

U.S. Men’s National Team newcomers Dom Dwyer and Kenny Saief, as well as youngsters Matt Miazga, Kellyn Acosta and Cristian Roldan headline the U.S. Gold Cup squad, which was announced on Sunday.

U.S. coach Bruce Arena named his Gold Cup roster, and it features a mixture of younger players with some veterans. Dwyer, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe and Saief are the four uncapped players on a roster with 13 players who have fewer than 10 national team caps.

Matt Miazga, Paul Arriola and Kellyn Acosta are among the young selections made by Arena. All three were part of the 2015 U.S. Under-20 World Cup squad.

Some veterans have returned to the national team fold, including Eric Lichaj, Joe Corona and Bill Hamid. Gyasi Zardes is back in after missing the second half of 2016 with a broken foot.

Key USMNT regulars Christian Pulisic, Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Darlington Nagbe and Clint Dempsey were not included on the roster, but could still be called up for the knockout rounds. Up to six players from that squad can be called up after the group stage is over.

The USMNT kicks off the Gold Cup on July 8 against Panama in Nashville, Tennessee. The Americans will first play a friendly against Ghana on Saturday in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Here is the full U.S. Gold Cup squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC)

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, Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Kenny Saief (Gent), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)


  1. Personally I really like this team. I am glad the veterans are not going to play, as I would like to see some new combinations and players who would never make the field otherwise. I understand the people who want the best team, but I feel our top lineup is starting to gel well, and we need to find the rest of the players who will be part of the team next year. I always want the best team possible, but I also want to see some new blood, and am so happy Bradley will not be in the center, that will be an interesting topic depending on how his replacements do.

  2. This GC isn’t terribly important. Best to give experience to as many young guys as possible, so I am disappointed with Besler and Zusi being there. And instead of Bedoya, maybe bring in somebody like Lyndon Gooch, or someone from the U20 team. Also, maybe add Josh Perez to the striker pool. Most of the young players are coming from MLS, which is in season, instead of from Europe, which isn’t. That doesn’t make sense to me, as a general rule. Maybe Bruce’s thinking is that he wants the youngsters in Europe to get established with their teams, but I’d like to see more of them here for the GC.

    • Its absolutely to give our European players a chance to earn a position with their club. Take Gooch who you mentioned he left Sunderland’s rotation due to injury, which he returned to the field in late January. He didn’t get time again with the first team until the end of May. Lichaj is one of the few Americans in Europe whose position is solid enough that he can miss some preseason. The others all played the extra two weeks for qualifiers and need the rest. I think its safe to say Miazaga isn’t going back to Chelsea (probably ever) and since he got like 5 minutes of preseason match time last Summer he’s better off playing in the states to attract suitors. Most of the U20s played very little for their clubs before the WC and are only now returning, to take them away for July after missing most of May is detrimental to their club development as well. Finally, Josh Perez has played 15 minutes of professional soccer and his U19 squad didn’t finish their season until June 11th only a two week off season if he were joining the squad likely not good for his development either.

      • CCV doesn’t need to be with Tottenham. Green and Boyd are both in positions where their absence wouldn’t matter much. I think the international experience would be good for some of the young guys. Some of them have played in friendlies. When Gooch was given a run out in the March friendlies everybody was happy with that. I don’t see that playing in a group game in the GC is more daunting than most of our friendlies, so there’s no harm in giving some youngsters some playing time. Most of the posters here are taking this thing too seriously, IMO.

      • Gary, both Green and Boyd were relegated to the bench after starting immediately after their transfers. Darmstadt has already begun preseason friendlies with Boyd scoring 5 goals against an 8th division side. They definitely need to be with their clubs. Gooch did not play in the March friendlies he played 52 minutes in Oct. and November. He was sent to the U23s he needs to be with his club. If you want those three to spend next season down the depth chart then sure bring them in for what as you pointed out is an unimportant tournament. CCV played just six matches last season including 2 FA Cups, 2 Leage Cups and 2 U23s, he needs to earn a spot at Spurs. Also, by competing in the U20 WC his off season did not begin until mid-June.

    • I cannot understand the logic of handing out caps to players who are so incredibly undeserving only because they are young.
      It makes sense when there is a player knocking at the door and a clear path to the first team, but players like Josh Perez are miles and miles away from being part of the US team. There is no reason at all to cap them at this point. Allow him to grow as a professional and if he starts to fulfill some of that potential we can give him a run out.
      There are constant complains about tossing out the old “known quantities” to throw in anonymous “young players” to get them experience. Known quantities are needed at these types of tournaments especially. When you know what you will get from Zusi, Bedoya, Dax or Besler it makes it much easier to judge the performances of actual unknowns like Dwyer, Saef, Morris, etc etc. If you throw out a group of 11 guys with little/no experience it would be incredibly difficult to point out where specific problem areas are, because itd be chaos….

  3. the veterans are there for the game against panama…its the only challenge in the group….we still need to assure that we get to the next round…i think we can do that with this group…..then we’ll switch 6 players after the group stage…..

  4. As a fan of the USMNT I always watch and will always watch but this gold cup squad is nothing to really get excited about. Acosta and Arriola are worth keeping an eye on and hopefully miazga. Dwyer and Saief will be interesting but pretty boring tournament.

    • In 2011 and 2015 we brought pretty much first team squads and lost both times. In 2013 we brought a forward line up of Wondo, Herculez Gomes, Wil Bruin, and Jack McInerney and won.

      Quite frankly I’m more interested to see how we line up, there doesn’t appear to be a Pulisic/Kljestan type player that can play the point of the diamond so are we playing a flat 4-4-2 or are we maintaining the 3-4-3, or will we play different formations for each opponent.

      • Left out Donovan from your list of forwards. Pretty big omission considering that Donovan was easily the best player of the tournament.

      • I considered him a midfielder, but the point is the same it was a pretty unimpressive looking lineup. Of course with Mexico in the Confed Cup that year as well it was all that was needed. It was Stu Holden (I believe Stuey’s last match), Landon Donovan and then the next best player was …. Bedoya or Mix?

  5. Hamid and Johnson have been incredibly disappointing at their failure (for different reasons) to secure any legitimate claim at making a 23-man roster for a World Cup to this point.

    Hopefully they put something together because the wheels are coming off Howard, little by little, and Guzan has regressed. While they’re both 26 and 28, they’ve had plenty of chances and very little competition to secure, at worst, a #3 spot on the roster…of which they’ve failed to do.

    A lot of hype met with a lot of injury-issues and inconsistency.

    • I’d expect the Gonzalez gaffe played some role but yeah I kind of think it’s a retrograde, low-risk, safe keeping selection. Guzan to me leaks goals and I have had zero faith in the other two since they couldn’t keep it clean against ES U23 in Oly qualifying 5 years ago.

      You won’t get canned for playing it safe but these three are NOT the country’s keeping future, and that is a serious transition problem for a country that has in recent decades plugged a lot of defensive issues with stellar keeping.

      • You won’t get canned for playing it safe but these three are NOT the country’s keeping future

        Which is why I find it annoying and lazy fans keep vomitting up Hamid’s name as any kind of a successor (SBI writers only recently stopped doing the same).

        Additionally, as someone in Chicago, I was always amused at Johnson’s name being brought up in past years because I watched the kid play weekly for the Fire. Makes one spectacular save for ten boneheaded mistakes.

        Both are creations of lazy media and lazy fans until they actually go out and produce. At this point, they’ve absolutely failed at doing so. If that’s our future, yikes.

      • “I have had zero faith in the other two since they couldn’t keep it clean against ES U23 in Oly qualifying 5 years ago.” What a ridiculous statement. You are essentially saying there is no way they improved since they played for a youth squad 5 years ago.

  6. Here’s the thing about all the complaints about any of the guys over the age of 27. Yes, we all know their flaws, but the reason they keep making squads is that they are the best available based on their play for their clubs. No they are not likely to contribute in Qatar and are unlikely to play with a full strength roster in Russia. Think of them as Seniors in high school they aren’t going to play next year, but they make the team better than if you play some freshman just to get that youngster experience. If you start cut veterans who are better at this time than youngsters you are going to create trouble in your locker room with the older guys. You call in the best available players based on their play, the national team isn’t a tryout ground. If the youngsters want to get to the NT they have to play better than the guys who are there.

    • I agree with calling in the best options available….but when talking about some of the players in this 23 we’re not talking about “Best Options”, we’re talking about who maybe the best option in MLS who hasn’t already played in a Tournament this year….

      Acosta, Williams, Morales, JJ, Jones (U-20) > McCarty….Roldan = McCarty.
      Cameron, Yedlin, Chandler, Lichaj, > Zusi….Polster = Zusi

      At least Wondo isn’t there wasting a roster spot.

      • The only person who you named that is available or not on the roster is D.Jones, who at this point in his career is not better than Roldan or McCarty. The same with your list of RBs none of those guys are available. Yes, Zusi would be my 5th or 6th for RB too, but the 3 of the first 4 aren’t available so there is no point complaining about Zusi being on there. I’ve seen probably 7 or 8 SKC matches this year and Zusi is a pretty decent RB, especially if we play 3 CBs as we did against Mexico.

    • It really depends what your goal. If you goal is to win now (or in the high school analogy…this season), you play the experienced seniors with limited upside. However, if you are building towards a run at state in two years, you play the better, younger players with upside WITH the understanding that times with be rough.

      • First Arena’s contract takes him to next Summer so he doesn’t care about next Fall.

        Second what message does that send to the veterans you want to keep, sorry we are purposely making this team not as good as it could be so that it might be better in five years when you are probably gone. Best way to lose a locker room in any sport, play guys that aren’t as good as the guys you are benching or cutting.

      • Johnny, you don’t think that happens? I agree it depends on your goals, but locker rooms can be managed. You either phase them in or wholesale dump, both happen. However, Arena wants quick and dirty short-term.

      • I know it happens I’m just saying it usually ends badly. Let’s be honest to, we as fans really just want to be entertained, because most of the current USMNT core has been around for quite awhile we are bored. We don’t really care about giving young players experience, we just want to see some different guys. I think most people know Jozy Altidore is a better player than Jordan Morris or Juan Agudelo, but we’ve seen Jozy literally 100 times and 70 or so times he’s let us down. Dempsey has been around for 13 years and Michael Bradley 1, we so desperately want something new we are willing to take anybody.

      • …yeah…I think a lot of fans feel that way. However, how full is cupboard when it comes to quality players. Same old story until the player quality improve.

    • Depends who were talking about. GK can play til they’re 40. A 28 year old who would be 29 is different than a 32 year old who would be 33. And it potentially matters whether you went to college and eased into pro play or have been pro since age 16 or 18. To me some young pros the wheels come off around Year 10 and that year comes at a different age if you signed at 23 or 16. Owen started having all the leg problems at about 26.

      I liked Bradley’s shooting last game but be real, that was team defense and he wasn’t having to cover ground. He already looked past it in Brazil and I wouldn’t rely on him next year. But we probably will because he has moments. Look at a team like 2006 and what can happen with a few too many older players.

      • Sorry wasn’t talking about GKs, just didn’t want to go through the list of older players that get continually trashed by people who then call for guys to replace them that often times don’t even see the field for their clubs.

    • I don’t believe he has actually filed for his switch yet. US soccer had said Stu Holden’s report that he had was false. It might also be that he has now filed but it just won’t be processed in time.

    • Who knows, really. There is zero doubt we put him on the 40 man. The story goes he sent the US a letter of intent. But the stories that he had filed for his switch on 6/13 were retracted and replaced with “not filed but any day now.”

      Until he applies for the one time switch I think the decision could be reversed. I’d be hopeful but not sure until he applies. Kind of like if you have some dual national with no commitment, could appear for either, that’s not done til they get capped. Until that app goes out all the talk could be flipped back around.

  7. A team with no Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore or Clint Dempsey
    Omar and Besler together again
    A lot of up and coming midfielders worth seeing in action at the international level
    Agudelo, Morris and/or Dwyer up top for the Stars and Stripes

    So much promise is this line-up!!!!

    • You used to be the who is in form guy. Morris hasn’t scored in his last 8 for Seattle and only has one in his last eleven (pending the match with Portland tonight)

  8. Happy to see that Wondo was left out of the 23. Maybe we’re finally done with him.
    Disappointed that Zusi & McCarty have made it into the 23….just don’t think they add anything. Guess I have to hope they don’t see the field.
    Disappointed that Garza didn’t make it….he’s been very good for Atlanta this season.
    For those thinking that there are only 3 forwards, remember that Zardes may be listed as a midfielder, but he’s an option as a target striker as well.

    • Even though I like Zusi I do hope the national team is beyond him come Russia but don’t be surprised to see him on the roster as a versatile option off the bench. He did make a decent impact in Brasil, if you recall.

      • In Brazil Zusi was wide midfielder, a position we didn’t have many options at, and his best contributions came off dead-ball situations. Now he’s been converted to RB a position he’s still learning. The few times I’ve seen him play RB for the national team I’ve been anything but impressed…He gets beat for speed, doesn’t read player movement well, and had a habit of keeping players onsides. I know people dislike Chandler…but I’d much rather have him or Lichaj as the backup RB than Zusi.

      • Lost you must not have paid much attention… not shocking. I’m well aware of where he played then and where he plays now. I never said he was a star, simply said don’t be surprised to see him as a “versatile” sub.

      • whammmm – I paid attention to what you said…I just happen to believe that we have others just as versatile who are of higher quality than Zusi. Thus making Zusi a disposable player. The fact that he’s being portrayed/tried as a RB speaks volumes about his ability. There are any number of wide midfielders who are as good or better than Zusi at this point, many of whom can play other positions as well…(Zardes Forward/Wide Mid, Fabian (Wide Mid/Outside Back), Gooch (Wide Mid/Center Mid), Green (Wide Mid//Forward), Cameron (CB/RB/CDM), Williams (CM/RB), Roldan (CM/RB), Lichaj (RB/LB), Saief (LM/RM/LB).

        The days of Zusi being a part of this team are clearly numbered, and if it weren’t for Arena being the the coach I think it would have already ended.

      • Zusi had lucky corner because Ghana did nothing. Zusi failed: hold the ball, deliver passes, crossing or shooting the ball. Zusi isn’t World Cup material.

      • Besler got destroyed in the World Cup & Besler was Lukaku’s bitch. Besler was Jeff Agoos of 2014.

    • Do you watch MLS? SKC is top of the table with the best defense only 12 goals allowed. Zusi and Besler have been a huge part of that success.

    • Lost if those guys you mentioned are so much better (consistently) than Zusi then where are they? I was talking about paying attention to the world cup. Like I said I hope this team is developed beyond Zusi but don’t be surprised. He is versatile in that he can play back to front.

  9. Que comment from the village idiot about Saief and the quality of MLS.
    Not sure Besler AND Omar need to be there. Glad to see Dwyer but he and Morris are very similar leaving JA as the only other forward. I’d assume he wants to see Saief on the left. Seems like the door is open for some changes after the group stage. As a SKC homer I think Melia and Opara deserved a look.

    • Rob’s a troll, but he didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was the other day. There is some cause for concern though, check the line ups of MLS teams recently, most of the time the amount of Americans playing is four or five per team. Its hard to come up with too many teams where even 2 of the best 3 players are American (Toronto, SKC). MLS is turning into the EPL where the soccer is good, but it doesn’t do anything for the host country because their own players don’t play. (Yes, I know that was a pretty big generalization) In the Por/Sea match that is on right now there are only 7 Americans who are starting, that’s an issue.

      • Johnny you seem to pay close attention to the youth ranks on up but you also seem pretty soft. Rob deserves everything he gets… You can’t be that big of a loser, broadcast it then expect no backlash. That is how the world works.

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