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USMNT analysis

Familiar faces and plenty of surprises highlight preliminary Gold Cup roster

The 40 player preliminary Gold Cup roster is out and there is plenty to digest about which names are now in contention to make the the final roster for the tournament. ASN's Brian Sciaretta looks at the surprising inclusions and the noteworthy omissions. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 18, 2019
7:00 AM
ON MONDAY, CONCACAF released the 40-player preliminary Gold Cup roster for the United States national team. That final roster will be trimmed to 23 by June 6 for the tournament which will open on June 15 with the U.S. team playing its first game on June 18 against Guyana.

The U.S. preliminary roster has many familiar names as well as some surprises too. The most noteworthy names missing were some injured players in DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks who missed the last few games for their respective European clubs. Also missing was U.S. forward Bobby Wood whose club situation on loan at Hannover deteriorated and now his parent club, Hamburg, seem to want to move on from him as well.

Now the preliminary roster is not a list of players who will be attending the pre-Gold Cup camp. The list of players who will attend camp will be released on Wednesday. 


Noteworthy inclusions

Jozy Altidore: Still the top forward in the player pool, Altidore has always had a difficult time being healthy for major tournaments. He has been dealing with various injuries in 2019 and is still yet to play under Gregg Berhalter. When healthy, he has looked very sharp for Toronto with five goals and three assists in 435 minutes.

Tyler Boyd: After recently filing for a one-time switch with FIFA to play for the United States, it was little surprise that Boyd would make the preliminary Gold Cup team. His standout season with Ankaragucu in Turkey obviously impressed Gregg Berhalter and U.S. Soccer. With the U.S. team thin at the wing positions, Boyd might have a very good chance of making the final team.

Duane Holmes: Another surprise pick because the Georgia-born Holmes has never played for the United States at any level before. Growing up in England, Holmes has done very well this season for a Derby County team which will play Aston Villa this weekend for a spot in the Premier League. A number 10 by trade, Holmes can play a number of attacking positions. It would be a thrill for Holmes to be part of it because he’s made no secret that playing for the United States is a career goal for him. It might be tough for him to make the Gold Cup team since Derby's promotional efforts probably would prevent him from possibly attending camp until a later date

Joe Gyau: Once a considered a promising player for the U.S. team, Gyau struggled with serious knee injuries that date back to a friendly with the U.S. team in 2014. Gyau did not have a great year in the 2.Bundesliga with MSV Duisburg (which finished last and was relegated) but he ended his season strong with a pair of high quality goals. His inclusion is a testament to both his determination to overcome injury and the U.S. team’s lack of quality wingers.

Marlon Fossey: Another player who has dealt with a wave of serious injuries – including an ACL injury and setbacks during his recovery. The English/American right back Fossey was part of the United States U-20 team in 2017 where he started in qualifying. He was slated to be part of the U-20 World Cup in 2017 but had to be replaced on the final roster due to injury.

Andrew Gutman: the most recent Herman Award winner as the nation’s best college player, Guttman elected not to sign a homegrown deal with Chicago and instead signed for Celtic in Scotland after an impressive trial. Unable to secure a U.K. work permit, Gutman, a left back by trade, is on loan with Charlotte in the USL but being on the 40-player roster will boost his chances to win a work permit on appeal.

Jonathan Amon: The talented winger from Nordsjaelland made his U.S. national team debut last November when he started in a friendly against Peru. As one of the most difficult cuts from the 2019 U.S. U-20 World Cup team, Amon remains a key prospect for the U.S. team and being on this list shows that he is valued despite the U-20 team setback. Nordsjaelland's season runs through this weekend so Amon might have a tough time attending camp, but this is a nice signal to the youngster from South Carolina. 

Miles Robinson: While he has never been capped by the U.S. national team, Robinson made the preliminary roster due to his strong start to the season for Atlanta United where he has thrived under Frank de Boer. Robinson is likely a U-23 team player but it would not be a surprise if his inclusion on this roster came from a favorable recommendation from U-23 head coach Jason Kreis (Robinson had a strong camp in March) and possibly Frank de Boer.

Notable Omissions

As mentioned, John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin will not play at the Gold Cup due to injuries. Bobby Wood has been left off due to a very bad club situation. There still were a few names left off that were surprising.

Andrew Wooten: Wooten is coming off his best season as a professional with 17 goals for Sandhausen in the 2.Bundesliga. He essentially saved the club from relegation. He has one cap in his career (coming in a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in a 2015 friendly) and will have to wait longer for his second.

Andrija Novakovich: the Wisconsin native scored nine goals (10 in all competitions) this season on loan at Fortuna Sittard in the Eredivisie and next year might return to his parent club, Reading, in the Championship. Novakovich made sporadic appearances in 2018 under interim manager Dave Sarachan but never earned an extended runout.

Erik Palmer-Brown: The central defender enjoyed a very strong second half of the season on loan from Manchester City to NAC Breda in the Eredivisie. Likely a key player for the U-23 Olympic team, Palmer-Brown’s absence from this team is a little surprising due to the absence of John Brooks.

Jackson Yueill: One of the best stories in MLS this year, Yueill has blossomed into a very good central midfielder for San Jose under Matias Almeyda – who has raved about the Minnesotan’s potential. Yueill will probably play for the U.S. U-23 team but it might be easy to see him breaking into Berhalter’s system before too long – as well as attracting serious European interest.

Kenny Saief: The FC Cincinnati left midfiedler began his stateside loan with a bang but has cooled off. Still, his talent is high enough where it probably could have kept him in the picture 

Predicted Gold Cup roster

1) Zack Steffen
2) Ethan Horvath
3) Sean Johnson
4) Nick Lima
5) Reggie Cannon
6) Aaron Long
7) Matt Miazga
8) Cameron Carter-Vickers
9) Walker Zimmerman
10) Tim Ream
11) Dan Lovitz
12) Michael Bradley
13) Tyler Adams
14) Weston McKennie
15) Sebastian Lletget
16) Paul Arriola
17) Tyler Boyd
18) Wil Trapp
19) Christian Pulisic 
20) Josh Sargent
21) Jozy Altidore
22) Jordan Morris
23) Gyasi Zardes

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