As the U.S. Men’s National Team embarks on its most important international tournament in a generation, head coach Gregg Berhalter has set his roster for the 2019 Gold Cup.
The 23-man roster includes a mix of veterans and young talent, along with one surprise omission. Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore with 145 caps and 110 caps respectively are the only two players that top the century mark. In contrast, there are 13 players on the roster with 10 caps or less.
“As always, there were some difficult decisions to be made for this roster and I’m extremely pleased with how the players have shown so far this year overall,” said Berhalter. “We’ve had a chance to look at the player pool for the last six months and we feel great about the group that will take on the task of trying to win the Gold Cup.”
The U.S. will open the tournament against Guyana on Tuesday, June 18, at Allianz Field in Minnesota.
The most notable player missing from the roster is forward Josh Sargent. A member of Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga, the 19-year old had been in training with the senior team rather than playing in the U-20 World Cup where the U.S. is in the quarterfinals.
According to a report in the Washington Post, Berhalter said the decision to keep Sargent off the roster was the most difficult one the coaching staff had to make. A factor in the decision appeared to be an injury to midfielder Sebastian Lletget, who the coaching staff felt would have provided depth at midfield and could have allowed the U.S. to carry Sargent as a third striker.
The head coach, in announcing his roster, said Sargent has a bright future in front of him.
“When I gave him the news, one thing I mentioned was that he’s going to be the striker for the national team in the future,” Berhalter said.
From a local standpoint, New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson and New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long were named to the squad. Johnson will likely serve as the backup to Zack Steffen. Long, the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year, will likely be a fixture at center back for the Americans.
U.S. MNT GOLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 7/0), 22-Tyler Miller (LAFC; 0/0), 1-Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 9/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 14-Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 10/1), 3-Omar Gonzalez (Toronto FC/CAN; 50/3), 2-Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 3/0), 23-Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 5/0), 16-Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 4/0), 19-Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 13/1), 13-Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 29/1), 5-Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 6/2)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 145/17), 20-Duane Holmes (Derby County/ENG; 1/0), 8-Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 8/1), 10-Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 25/10), 15-Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 10/0), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 16/0)
FORWARDS (6): 17-Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 110/41), 7-Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 22/3), 21-Tyler Boyd (Vitória Guimãres/POR; 0/0), 18-Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 4/0), 11-Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 27/5), 9-Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 44/7)