The U.S. Men’s National Team’s preliminary roster for the Concacaf Gold Cup is a long list dominated by Major League Soccer standouts as expected, but it also features a sprinkling of European-based players who could add some intriguing to a summer tournament long-expected to feature just domestic-based players.
Reggie Cannon, Julian Green, Matthew Hoppe and Cameron Carter-Vickers headline a list of seven European-based players included in the USMNT’s 59-player preliminary list, which was released by Concacaf on Friday.
The Gold Cup is an official international competition, meaning club teams are obligated to release players if they are called up, but Berhalter has focused on MLS-based players in order to allow his top European-based players to focus on their club preseasons after having taken part in the USMNT’s recent run at the Concacaf Nations League, which included two matches, as well as friendlies before and after the competition.
Only four players who took part in the Nations League are included on the preliminary roster — Cannon, Sebastian Lletget, Kellyn Acosta and Jackson Yueill — though Daryl Dike was with the team throughout its Nations League run and is expected to make the final Gold Cup roster.
Cannon’s inclusion is the most surprising of that group, though he is in the process of trying to secure a transfer away from Portuguese side Boavista, meaning he could wind up making the final USMNT Gold Cup roster and competing in the tournament if a transfer hasn’t been secured by the time final rosters are due.
The preliminary roster includes some exciting young prospects, including Caden Clark, Cade Cowell and Gianluca Busio, as well as some other intriguing candidates such as James Sands and Leon Flach.
Among the prominent names not included on the roster are Michael Bradley as well as Ayo Akinola, who has been included in Canada’s preliminary Gold Cup roster. Bradley won’t feature in the Gold Cup, but has not formally retired from the USMNT and could theoretically still be part of Berhalter’s plans when World Cup qualifying begins in the fall.
As for Akinola, the former U.S. Under-20 national team player has accepted call-ups from Canada in the past, and was raised in Canada, but a source tells SBI that Akinola has yet to file a formal Change of Association with FIFA yet to finalize a switch from the United States to Canada.
Akinola is one of a handful of USMNT-eligible players who have been included in other Gold Cup preliminary rosters, including Efrain Alvarez (Mexico) and Seattle Sounders standout Alex Roldan, who has been called up by El Salvador. Coincidentally, Roldan’s brother Cristian is included in the USMNT preliminary roster.
The final 23-man rosters for the Gold Cup are due on June 30, prior to the start of the preliminary round of the competition, which is scheduled to begin on July 2nd.
Here is the full USMNT preliminary roster for the Gold Cup:
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
DEFENDERS: Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), George Bello (Atlanta United), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Justin Che (FC Dallas), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls), Chase Gasper (Minnesota United), Jonathan Gomez (Louisville City), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution), Shaq Moore (CD Tenerife), Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City), Kevin Paredes (D.C. United), Donovan Pines (D.C. United), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), James Sands (New York City FC), Auston Trusty (Colorado Rapids), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls), Leon Flach (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal), Moses Nyeman (D.C. United), Andres Perea (Orlando City), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Memo Rodriguez (Houston Dynamo), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United), Tanner Tessman (FC Dallas), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Frankie Amaya (FC Cincinnati), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Corey Baird (Colorado Rapids), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes), Daryl Dike (Orlando City), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen), Matthew Hoppe (Schalke), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids), Rubio Rubin (Real Salt Lake), Chris Mueller (Orlando City), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), Robbie Robinson (Inter Miami CF), Mason Toye (CF Montreal), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)