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A closer look at the USMNT preliminary Gold Cup roster

A 59-player preliminary roster might seem overboard and unnecessary by Concacaf to require, but as excessive as it may be, the large lists have provided some useful insight into the state of the U.S. Men’s National Team player pool.

The MLS-heavy list was expected, but it was still encouraging to see many of the most promising young talents in the league identified as being on Gregg Berhalter’s radar, even if the pipe dream some people have of a final roster consisting only of youngsters isn’t ever going to happen.

Berhalter is sure to select a few top youngsters for his final 23, with Caden Clark, Cade Cowell and Gianluca Busio near the top of the list, but the inclusion of seven European-based players has revealed that Berhalter isn’t going to treat the Gold Cup strictly as a chance to mine the MLS talent pool.

That being said, it will be interesting to see which youngsters make the squad, and which win prominent roles. As much as the Gold Cup team is likely to feature plenty of players with national team experience, you have to think at least one or two of the most promising youngsters will fight their way onto the field.

The trophy on the line in July does carry significance, but the main priority for Berhalter remains World Cup qualifying, so those who thought the Gold Cup might be a chance to just throw together a squad of inexperienced players to see who will sink or swim should also prepare for a potential half-dozen slightly older foreign-based candidates trying to force their way into the picture for qualifying.

With all that in mind, here is a closer look at some of the key takeaways from the USMNT Gold Cup roster;


Julian Green’s chance to shine


Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos

Julian Green happens to be the only player on the entire preliminary roster currently projected to be on a team in a top-five European league. It still isn’t a guarantee that Berhalter includes him — newly-promoted side Bundesliga Greuther Furth is sure to object — but the Gold Cup could be the perfect showcase for Green to show he can help the USMNT in central midfield when qualifying begins in World Cup qualifying begins in September.

Green earned his first call-up under Berhalter ahead of the May friendly against Switzerland, and while he didn’t get on the field for that match, he did have a week of camp to make an impression on Berhalter, and his inclusion in the Gold Cup squad suggests Berhalter liked what he saw.

Green is fighting for a place among Berhalter’s first-choice central midfielders, where Weston McKennie, Sebastian Lletget and Yunus Musah are among the competition. Green’s ability as a two-way midfielder make him well-suited for Berhalter’s system, and the Gold Cup would allow him to demonstrate just how much he has grown as a player after his recent years starting for Furth.


Cannon’s inclusion keeps right back crowded


Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos

The summer transfer window is likely to also play a part in shaping the USMNT Gold Cup squad. Reggie Cannon’s inclusion surely came as a surprise, but the former FC Dallas defender is positioning himself for a transfer away from Portuguese side Boavista, and a Gold Cup call-up would allow him to put off rejoining the Portuguese side for potentially a full month, giving him more time to secure a transfer.

In terms of the actual right back position, Cannon had been projected to be the USMNT starter at Nations League, but he started neither match. He showed well in the friendly win against Costa Rica after the Nations League, and a strong showing at the Gold Cup could help him re-establish himself as a preferred option at the position.

It could also help him fend off potential challenges from the rest of the USMNT talent pool at right back. Julian Araujo is a top candidate, and his potential inclusion in the Gold Cup squad would cap-tie him, but if Cannon makes the team it will be tough for the LA Galaxy fullback to beat him out, though it would make for a good battle.

The right back player pool also boasts another European-based option in Shaq Moore, who has yet to be called into a camp by Berhalter, but did earn looks in 2018, in the year before Berhalter took over.

Two other good MLS options at right back are Kyle Duncan and Aaron Herrera, with Herrera having won the starting job in Olympic qualifying. Duncan and Herrera could wind up missing out on this Gold Cup though if Cannon and/or Moore are included.


Have we seen the last of Michael Bradley?


Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most glaring omissions on the preliminary roster was Michael Bradley, whose absence from the list was immediately taken by some as a sign that his days with the USMNT are over.

Don’t be so sure. Clearly, Berhalter stands a good chance of taking longer looks at both Kellyn Acosta and Jackson Yueill, and there’s no reason to call in the 33-year-old Bradley for the Gold Cup when it would make much more sense to call him for World Cup qualifying in the event other defensive midfield options are unavailable.

Comments

  1. i thought cannon played well in his mexico stint and then he had the goal on costa rica. not sure why everyone else on NL is getting the summer off and he’s gotta come back and prove himself some more.

    story seems to go he’s being showcased to transfer out of boavista except people like reynolds and richards are left off for the same reason.

    to me if we had a brain he would be protected as incumbent and this time would be spent seeing if richards reynolds moore can contribute at RB.

    Reply
    • It’s fairly easy to understand if you really want to. Boavista and Cannon mutually are looking to part ways. The rumor was Cannon was brought in to spend a year at Boavista then move to Lille that had the same owner. However, in December the owner sold Lille. Cannon wants to move and Boavista don’t have him in their plans so they don’t need a lame duck taking training reps from someone who will be there.
      —————————————
      Richards and Reynolds are different stories. Both were rotation players for Bayern and Roma. With players leaving those clubs and new managers they have opportunities to earn more time if they are at their clubs. Mourinho is one of the greatest managers of all-time and Nagelsman is one of the top young managers. You can’t buy that kind of experience by playing Martinique. Even if they go on loans Mourinho or Nagelsman putting in a good word in their process gets them a better loan.
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      Richards if he’s healthy will 100% be on the field for the US in September, Berhalter doesn’t need to see him in July to make that choice. Gregg rated him above McKenzie in March and would have for NL had he not been injured. Reynolds is a bit different, he’s very raw having played parts of his youth career as a wing forward and only having a handful of professional appearances. If you watched his appearances for Roma this season you can see he’s not as ready as Cannon, Dest, or Yedlin. If he starts getting minutes for Roma for Mourinho it becomes a different story, but for now he’s only getting a spot with the US if someone else is out. I like Reynolds a lot, after his first FCD match last year I said he’d be in Europe by January and he was, but compared to three seasoned pros he’s not yet at their level. He would have played against Costa Rica if not for a knee injury and spent those two weeks with the first team.
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      McBride and/or Gregg still has to contact these clubs so if a player isn’t on the list it’s because the club said they’d really like them in training. That’s why guys like Cannon, CCV and EPB are on it their current clubs don’t want them.

      Reply
      • Case you missed it like 99% of our 9s and backs are raw kids in precarious club situations and you’re still not explaining the erratic treatment, with your theory now seeming to be we must defer to the clubs when hmmm there is a FIFA rule we can demand anyone. I also think you’re exaggerating/distorting the relative value of the players to their clubs to fit your thesis. Cannon was the most used of the bunch and the deal was this was intended more like Marsch’s RBS and assistant stints, as an apprenticeship before moving to Lille. The owner then didn’t buy Lille. The other two, let’s be real, they weren’t used anywhere near as much. Strictly speaking Reynolds would report to FCD not Roma — his loan is up. To be blunt Richards is in a weak position vis a vis his parent team. I think you’re exaggerating their necessity at the parent. I think they actually have similar career situations not being handled consistently by the coach. And to be blunt I think it’s daft to think that your best career option right now is go to camp with teams who don’t really want you back, when you could platform yourself in a showcase tournament instead. What do you think NL did for Horvath’s career? C’mon dude, don’t be a parrot. What the kids need is actually playing time and a place to show their worth. Not the snob capitalist dream of report back to camp to fight for minutes at a barely interested team. I know y’all live vicariously through these guys’ UCL efforts but if Bayern barely plays you not sure how that’s the priority.

      • Some people mocked my donut hole theory but you basically just explained it in a nutshell. You 100% expect Richards on the WCQ team. I like him but he has barely ever played in the shirt. How has he been tested or prepared? You’re basically underlining my point we have a pecking order regardless of usage and performance and that it doesn’t matter if he misses NL or plays less than the GC choices. We just trust he’s better. And while I like the kid half the reason I hit the experimental drumbeat during friendlies is so we don’t have to follow this scenario. That they have already gotten their start and played well and not tripped over their shoelaces. Look at McKenzie, the one experiment he did. Can he hack what’s coming? Who knows. If he’s been groomed to step into the job he didn’t have to earn it.

    • Let me correct one thing: Reynolds’ loan lasts until the end of June at which point Roma buys him July 1. The loan was strictly an accounting technique, the sale agreement was complete in Jan. This was not a loan and decide deal like Dike.
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      Your basic complaint is you want to see players in NT games to decide. Berhalter, McBride, and Stewart disagree with you. Your theory applies for lower league players like Yueill, which is why Gregg said before the NL they wanted to see Jackson against stiffer competition. For players like Reynolds or Richards playing in top leagues Gregg and US don’t feel they need that. If you can handle speed of play and the lack of space on the ball in Serie A or Bundesliga you can handle Concacaf. Also both Richards and Reynolds have represented the USYT in international tournaments. Both have been in multiple camps and know how the team wants to play.
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      As for your “barely interested team” comment that’s pretty ridiculous. Roma didn’t just pay 7 million euros for someone they’re not interested in. Bayern isn’t refusing to sell Richards because they aren’t interested.

      Reply
      • you are confusing theory with practice or did you watch mckenzie in the mexico game. that idea was working until it became more complicated. i believe in throughput. run 4 of the type out there and see which ones don’t make those glitches. i like these players and in theory hope they are superior and impact more and mistake less. much as i pimp them i can’t say that for sure until they play. aaronson has grown on me. sargent has regressed on me. you have to actually play the games. or did you not get the twellman kljestan cooper wondo memo? some people whose club feats did not translate.

        i do appreciate some consideration of visible player attributes, speed, height, technique, as opposed to rote statistical analysis. but that still needs to be verified on the field. that can be as little as horvath gets an injury sub against mexico then plays costa rica. just some actual trial by fire. my beef is we had plenty of time for this before and at this point this is the last chance to do a thing before we hit qualifying and are pressed by the “experience paradox” to make counterproductive pro veteran choices (eg ream) out of risk aversion.

      • they had reynolds for half a season and started him 3 times and played him 5 times. and if the deal is he is locked into transferring there, then i don’t get the need to leave him off. we have an equal concern with whether he could get more involved here and help us. some would say greater. i care more about the US than UCL.

    • @The TX 3 stepper, In terms of technical skills and experiences, I’d totally agree that a “15-20” lbs lighter version Jozy Altidore will be better than Josh Sargent.

      Reply
    • Here’s one difference between the US and top teams. In its game today, Portugal brought on a player in the 82nd minute who scored 26 goals last season for Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. Not to replace Ronaldo, but to supplement him. We don’t have anyone even one half that good now.

      Reply
      • you are only going to slow down the process of trying to develop and find anyone who could possibly be that good by trotting out a 31 year old player who had like 2 goals last year and managed 1 goal the whole last tournament he got a chance in — which happened to be the last gold cup we lost when he started the final and we were held scoreless. you are literally picking the single way we can ensure we do not run out someone with any possible future. reach for the security blanket past his sell by date. fwiw we do have some people like AJ running around with double digit goals as veterans who we refuse to call. i do think there are reasonable arguments that we should maybe switch over to 2026 players to build for the future instead of prop up the present. but if we do that then you need to let go of the “where are their club stats” arguments, because for 80-90% of the kids they aren’t going to have much of any.

        one reason i advocate broad experimentation and deciding things on the field is if we’re tilting young you need to throw out club stats and sort out near term who can score goals for a NT right now.

    • on what planet? not in terms of NT production. not in terms of club production. not in terms of team results. the answer to not sargent is someone else better in their 20s and not literally getting older and worse on purpose.

      kind of like, if yueill and acosta are not good enough that’s not a reason to bring bradley or roldan back. that’s a reason to trial holmes, johnny, dotson, someone else who hasn’t screwed up worse and lost more games than the ones you are looking to replace.

      Reply
    • Bottom line: Our player pool is just incredibly weak at the striker position. If there was a 20+ goal scorer from any league, they would be on the roster. IV, you are searching for something that just isn’t there right now. You can’t just throw u23 players into senior international competition if they aren’t even seeing the field and producing for their clubs! To Gary’s point, guys like Hoppe (who I hope gets a shot and does well) wouldn’t get a sniff for other top 25 national teams, and he at least is deserving based on a good club season. Until the next generation produces a reliable goalscorer who can do it at club level, we are going to roll with Sargent, Pefok, Jozy, and maybe Dike. Honestly if I was manager and had to win a game right now, I would leave all of them off and go with Pulisic/Reyna as a false nine, since Aaronson looked better than any of the strikers.

      Reply
      • what you’re missing is jozy got his shot as the “reliable veteran” and proved unreliable. we do have some older players like wood and AJ (and even zardes) with some production history. but jozy is not that anymore.

        i would have been playing the kids for 2 years and then someone from that group would probably have worked out. the problem is all the time got poured into jozy and zardes and then sargent and zardes and so plan B is unclear.

        but anyhow, to me, GC is “practice” and WCQ is “for real.” anything other than qualifying or the final tournament is getting ready for that part of the cycle. we still have 6 games this tournament to find some new ideas and give them a test. the idea we need “experience” for gold cup is only expanding the list of events treated as “for real” to the point it protects the very people you aren’t sure are ready. that’s what our incumbency bias does, is not just favor the regulars but also squeeze out the minutes for anyone else.

      • i would play pulisic as a 9 in WCQ because he has experience and produces goals and his sometimes selfishness might be useful in a striker. my beef is more that the dumb way this has been approached has not been conducive to finding a bunch of other options, and burned a lot of time on people past their sell by date. IMO a team that knows what it is doing spends the first half of the cycle trialing new elements and only brings back a bradley or ream or jozy or guzan if after trying everyone they can think of there still is a hole in the lineup.

      • The problem is more the midfield that the striker. If the Mids create nothing, no striker is going to make any difference

    • As a false 9 you’ve got to play with your back to goal most of the time. I’m not sure that’s what Pulisic does best. If Tuchel continues to give him minutes for him to work on that part and f his game but Chelsea seems likely to sign couple true #9s to take those few minutes.

      Reply
      • have you forgotten the goal on chile within the first 10′? y’all are little berhalter robots. we can use a more foot speedy technical 9 and he doesn’t have to play some withdrawn false 9 crap. all we do is switch to a slightly more “dempsey” or “donovan” approach where we play him into space as opposed to back to goal like a target player. with how little sargent gets the ball it would probably be a breath of fresh air, and it would snap us out of the rote, “run in your channel” way we play like U14s. maybe some actual combinations and overlaps and position swapping.

      • The goal that our target forward Zardes flicked on to our #10 Pulisic? The #9 Zardes came back for the ball and played the runner into the space he created by pulling out the CB. It was classic back to goal #9 play although who knows if Zardes really meant to hit that ball or just had a lucky touch.
        ———————————
        Berhalter isn’t going to play your preferred style. US Soccer doesn’t want it’s manager to play that style either. We just aren’t going to defend with 9 guys behind the ball in a low block and try to hit long balls into space for our athletes to run onto. If you like that style might I suggest changing your rooting interest to Honduras or Costa Rica.

      • actually, if i recall right, the keeper knocked it long — forget punt or kick — and you would be opposed to that on principle as well.

        you are mis-stating what i want them to do. i never said 9 behind the ball. i never said bunker. my goal is something more akin to what RBS or Juve does. a less aggressive formation — i think 433 is silly and vulnerable — but not everyone back. plenty of german and italian teams managed to balance offense and defense without becoming bunker squads. defend hard but then get out and attack. technique, yes, but also speed. the dumbest idea i have ever heard is trying to turn a team that can just run by many people into some fake tiki taka side when the technical level is not there yet. equally idiotic is passing from the back for a bunch of goals allowed.

        you can pretend it’s not but the chile goal is an object lesson in how this could be much more direct and effective. three people touch the ball, goal. not ugly kickball. ball ends up at the feet of a technician. just direct and no pointless farting around. you go re-watch the end of mexico and horvath quit short passing and the mids started turning and attacking instead of farting around. costa rica showcased what a speed element would do. only an idiot wants to implement the stuttering first half mexico offense and the giveaway goal.

  2. “Berhalter still sees Altidore as one of his top striker options when he is healthy and in form”

    The million dollar question is when does Altidore stay healthy and in form for an extended period to last through a major tournament? Maybe back in 2010 during the South Africa World Cup?

    Reply
    • Hard to be “in form” when Toronto doesnt even put him on game day roster anymore. He is basically in limbo now. If GB considers him Anything now…. then my opinion of GB went below rock bottom. I think we are headed for another WC qualify fail under GB

      Reply
  3. i thought green and hoppe got called to NL camp in case dike was required by barnsley and sargent by werder. it’s always a “look” but they were there as cover and had no real chance to play short of a contingency that did not occur. however based on how sargent played maybe the coach should stick his thumb on the scales less. at a lot of the problem spots i’d like to see the coach more broadly hand out the time and let the players show they deserve the job as opposed to declaring one of them the starter for months before a ball is kicked. he keeps skippping the roster competition step and just handing the slot to the next person. maybe het the memo that you keep picking the wrong starter and let the competing players prove to you which one should have the gig.

    i mean, we didn’t just hand, say, friedel, the 1 jersey, he had to actually fend off keller. that to me makes both friedel and keller more motivated when we have the games. and then you go with the one who shows better as opposed to hope the starter confirms your prejudice.

    Reply
    • net effect of how he rolls is he gives the most minutes to the perceived starters and then the predominantly MLS types he uses for January and GC. what it creates is a donut hole just behind the first choice team where the talented prospects with career problems fall. they then get the least minutes other than the absolute worst players. they are considered but don’t make a NL team, based on club form, but then are omitted from GC grunt work like it’s beneath them, for club situation reasons. so the perceived first choice get protected from their competition and they in turn don’t have to prove they are better than the GC players. weird way to run a team. most coaches set up a pecking order based on players having to prove better than the next guy on the field.

      Reply
      • basically, i think weah reynolds richards soto would have gotten more minutes based on U20 reputation under klinsi, and most coaches if you saw next to or no time in NL wouldn’t omit you from GC and assume you can play, having seen no minutes you would be kept over for GC because you had done nothing yet and have everything to prove still. by GB’s way weah etc. are simply understood to be in line from a few first team minutes regardless how the minutes went. most US coaches barely seeing the field would beg the question. you wouldn’t remain in line for ascension unless you went to some other game or tournament and actually did something.

    • Does anyone realy think it’s only Berhalter making these choices? We act like he makes these random or wild choices on his own. I’m sure he has the final say but like any good executive he listens to his asssistants and you have to assume McBride and Stewart have input too. Hate to burst the conspiracy bubbles but let’s be real.
      This is done so it’s easy to criticize his inclusions or omisions. That’s harder to do if there is a roundtable discussion of several experienced coaches and players.
      There’s 59 names on here. It’s ridiculous to think 1 person had the defacto say in who is in and who is out.

      Reply
      • first off, i am primarily talking about the people he left off who are of high promise — obvious people like reynolds and richards — who any idiot would know about. to then bring up whether he knows every single one of the 60 they listed is a non-sequitur. my whole argument was that it is absurd that the people getting the most time are either the starters or a B/C team set of MLS players not even as good as the marginal Europeans whose absence I was complaining about. so you’re trying to make me look like a conspiracy person for something i didn’t say which doesn’t apply to the obvious names i was arguing.

        second, re your point, while i am sure he is being helped with player scouting, one assumes the coach has final say who is listed, called, or given a shirt. he should be accountable for those decisions. i am not interested in giving the coach a trap door excuse where players who don’t play well can be blamed on some underling who scouted them. it’s his team. if they are poorly chosen it’s his responsibility. i am not going to parse or excuse whose eyes passed over the player. that’s not conspiracy stuff, that’s how every GM or coach is generally accountable.

    • While your comments may be accurate in a general sense, the last 18 months have been extraordinary. What with COVID, the delay or cancellation of tournaments, frequent injuries, etc. Berhalter has had little to no opportunity to get the top players together or to even get together a good camp where established players and newcomers can battle things out. Also, we have players playing on different seasonal schedules so European players might be available when MLS players aren’t and vice versa.

      Reply
      • my point is not particularly about the top players. my point is the donut hole into which the elite prospects like richards and reynolds fall. they are not included in A team games because they “aren’t ready.” they then don’t get into the more liberal January or Gold Cup rosters because they “are so good they need to deal with their career issues at their awesome club.” it’s contradictory crap. my point is it’s easier to make gold cup being an unambitious MLS third rate prospect than as an elite player who is probably rated right behind the people we do call for the first choice games. that’s an absurd donut hole.

        along similar lines, while i like aaronson now, he was cut from U20 and we have put a ton more effort and caps into him than the guys who made the U20 team ahead of him. that’s nuts.

        to me the process right now is nuts, contradictory excuses aside, richards and reynolds should be next in line behind people like mckenzie brooks robinson dest etc. they can barely see a field and if they do it’s a sub cameo. and then when gold cup comes the less esteemed players other side of the donut hole will be allowed to start and play 90. this then matters because crazily when we need “experience” for the qualifiers you denied it to the lead prospects and gave it to the third rate guys. they are then who is supposedly “ready.” this is no way to run a railroad.

      • I agree woth everything you said, but its hard to get those who have their own agenda, or who just don’t like Greg, to think rationally or with perspective. Missing over a year killed any extra that could have been used to see a boat load of more players up close and personal, so when Covid eased up and the team got back together it was more about fine tuning the first team and the system with which Greg has them.opertaing in and less about introducing a bunch of new players because there is no longer the time to do so with WCQ around the corner. The Gold Cup will provide that opportunity and frankly the names there are who should be there, with obviously some special cases that had to be adhered to(manadatory preseason attendance, transfer possibilities and injuries).

      • re transfer possibilities, i understand we have guys in the list “to showcase for transfer,” but also guys off the list “because they may be trying to get on a new team.” so we are doing contradictory things with different players for the same excuse. to be fair, if the player demanded it, fine. but to me it’s goofy to be leaving out B team to call C team. and maybe the deal is the coach in the back of his head sees richards as an upcoming option who merely just doesn’t play much, but if richards or reynolds are soon in line and have played like 45 minutes total that’s nuts. particularly when you then run out this GC bunch for 90 mins x however many games they get. if they wanted to use NL as prep then fully use GC as your experiment.

        fwiw the first choice backline looked like trash — prep or not — and a team with a brain would be trying to fix that before quali and not just running a january camp type roster out for GC. i think there are other positions we could play around at, but back should be serious at this point.

  4. I think it’s too early to make any judgments from a very large preliminary roster. I’m going to wait until the final roster is announced. One comment I have is that I’m not a big Cannon fan. I don’t think he is necessarily bad, he’s pretty good. But, I think long term Araujo has more potential, so I hope he gets substantial playing time.

    Reply
    • I’m not 100% sure Araujo will except the call-up. I’ve heard several interviews with him the last two years and it’s usually “I’m with the US now, but …”

      Reply
      • My impression has been that even before Alvarez was invited into the Mexican camp, Araujo was going US with Alvarez more likely going to Mexico. The main impediment may be that we have so many options already at RB, which may be why the last time Araujo played for the US, if my memory is correct, he played some winger. He has occasionally played on the wing for the Galaxy also.

    • I think he’ll end up here just not sure he’ll make that commitment this Summer. He would need to play three times to permanently cap tie him since he’s U21.

      Reply
    • huh? i can judge the obvious names he left off. i can judge the goofy veterans who lost GC 19 he brought back. i may not know everyone young twerp on the list very well but (a) they are the least likely people to make the final roster and (b) to me the real debate is between some hot young prospect omit vs he brings back roldan or jozy. that’s the obvious debate about who should be on the edge of the first choice team if someone gets hurt.

      now, i will be interested to see any new kids he calls in, i just think as discussed above his sequence is all jacked up. the order of taking a look should be the people who played NL, the people who just missed that team, and only after the obvious kids get tried, then you can dig around USL or random MLS kids. he does things backwards. several years into the cycle it should still not be “well, can soto weah richards reynolds” etc. help the team.

      Reply
      • Did you post this in the wrong spot? Gary and I were debating if Araujo would accept a call up?

      • i read his first sentence and responded to that. i took the two players discussed to be examples. i disagreed with his general point. if he wants to make a narrow araujo comment talk only about that then.

      • Ok your comment makes sense now. Did you see my comments on the other thread Frei has a blood clot and isn’t expected to be able to play soccer until late July or August. Lichaj has been sidelined with a hip injury and is hoping to be fit by the start of the season but has yet to sign with a new club.

  5. The Gold Cup at this juncture is really only useful for grooming talent for possible spots on the WCQ roster, or showcasing players for transfer or a new club. I’d view it as nothing more than a tryoutt, with finding talent for important than wining the superficial cup.
    The WCQ roster most serious needs right now are depth at striker, DM and CB. Rather than speculate, holding off judgement until the games begin makes more sense.

    Reply
    • Holding off judgement on players makes since….holding off judgement on the coach, not so much.
      “The Gold Cup at this juncture is really only useful for grooming talent for possible spots on the WCQ roster”. I completely agree, but there are people in the preliminary roster that we know exactly what they’re capable of….they’ve been given multiple opportunities and failed.
      Yueill was part of the NL squad and proved he is not capable of being effective against the upper level CONCACAF opponents.
      Roldan has received multiple camps/opportunities and failed.
      Acosta was part of the NL and March friendlies. He’s proven himself to be the back-up to Adams for the moment…but still has weaknesses in his game that good teams can/will exploit.
      Jozy isn’t even wanted on his MLS team anymore, yet Gregg puts him on a preliminary roster. It’s insane.
      I’ll hold off final judgement of the players once I see them play, but if Gregg packs the roster with retreads who’ve failed than he deserves to be called out for his stupidity.

      Reply
      • I’ll be very disappointed if 4 of the 6 midfield roster spots go to Roldan, Yeuill, Lleget, and Acosta. It does make sense to put known quantities on the provisional list though as injury replacements. Say you call in your 23, suddenly 2 days before the first match Green sprains his knee. You can’t fly someone in from Europe because they’re all in training, so it has to be MLS. Can you think of any MLS midfielders that aren’t on this list who you would want? Bradley, Trapp, Dax McCarty? Then you have to think your bringing in someone to play with no training time in our possession system? You don’t have time to get someone up to speed so just grab Acosta.

  6. Ives the Concacaf website seems to indicate that you will not be able to add players for the knockout rounds only 23 named by June 30.

    Reply
    • i thought that was the deal last version of the tournament as well. i do think they allowed pre game 1 injury swaps if they were on the provo list. i am sure the small nations with shorter rosters beefed at mexico and us doing hockey line changes for knockout rounds — and they outnumber us on votes.

      Reply
      • Yes, no roster changes in 2019 either. I do think it is to give smaller nations an equal shot. They mentioned force mejuere can also be a cause to replace someone in addition to injury before your first match. I’m guessing that’s in case a team has visa problems like a couple teams did getting into the country for CCL.

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