Breaking down 2015 U.S. Gold Cup roster

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's selection of 17 of the 23 players he took to the 2014 World Cup underlined his conservative nature in picking his squad for the USA's Gold Cup defense. But the better focus is on the players he took to Europe for the USA's historic wins over the Netherlands and Germany earlier in June. Here's a look at Klinsmann's 23 picks, plus 12 alternates.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Leon, Mexico).
Alternate: Bill Hamid (D.C. United).

No surprise here. Brad Guzan started in both games against the Netherlands and Germany, and the 2015 Gold Cup will be his big test. His only previous trip to the Gold Cup came in 2007 when he was the third-string keeper behind Tim Howard and Kasey Keller.

DEFENDERS (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club America, Mexico), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt, Mexico), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers, England).
Alternates: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo); Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Greg Garza (Atlas/Mexico); Michael Orozco (Puebla/Mexico); Brek Shea (Orlando City SC).

Klinsmann started Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks for both games in Europe. They struggled against the Dutch but played better as the match against Germany in Cologne went along. German-Americans Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson are the likely choices on the outside. Greg Garza and Brek Shea were used at left back earlier in the year, but Klinsmann's experimenting is over. Garza struggled with injuries at the end of the Mexican season at Tijuana -- he's since moved to Atlas -- while Shea's poor game against the Netherlands hurt his case, not to mention his return to midfield at Orlando City.

Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes, France), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt, Germany), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham, England), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Alternates: Joe Corona (Veracruz/Mexico); Perry Kitchen (D.C. United); Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution).

Alejandro Bedoya and Graham Zusi, who both started on the wings at the 2014 World Cup, return for the Gold Cup after injuries kept them out of the national team picture earlier in the year. Since then, Gyasi Zardes has emerged as a Klinsmann favorite, capable of playing up front or on the wings, like he does for the LA Galaxy. DeAndre Yedlin, who excellent off the bench in both Amsterdam and Cologne, will likely be Klinsmann's supersub at the Gold Cup, like he was at the 2014 World Cup. The Gold Cup will also be an encore for the Kyle Beckerman-Michael Bradley pairing, this time in the preferred diamond midfield.

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
Alternates: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution); Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy); Jordan Morris (Stanford Univ.).

Neither Jozy Altidore nor Clint Dempsey traveled to Europe, but the USA still put six goals on the board against a pair of superpowers. Chris Wondolowski didn't travel to Europe, either, and his selection over the talismanic Jordan Morris is something of a surprise.

Quarterfinal changes? Klinsmann can change up to six players for the quarterfinals, assuming the USA advances that far. Two years ago, Matt Besler was brought in for the knockout stage and started all three matches as the USA won its fifth regional championship. Besler could replace Tim Ream. One cannot rule out Morris' return for the quarterfinals.
8 comments about "Breaking down 2015 U.S. Gold Cup roster".
  1. Dennis Mueller, June 24, 2015 at 9:42 a.m.

    Actually like the selections. Some consistency in defense. all the mids one wold expect and Wondo to poach goals against weaker teams, I expect Wondo may be replaced by Morris for the final games where speed from the forwards will be more important than grabbing half-chances from a packed defense.)

  2. Kevin Leahy, June 24, 2015 at 12:58 p.m.

    Really believe an experienced team is needed but, with 23 roster spots, I just don't get Wondolowski, Davis or Evans?

  3. ROBERT BOND, June 24, 2015 at 1:28 p.m.

    don't we always make the qfs? hope so, i have tix...Wondo's miss will always haunt us....

  4. Allan Lindh, June 24, 2015 at 2:50 p.m.

    We need to find someone younger than Beckermann for the defensive holding spot in mid-field. I don't understand Cameron not being given a real shot at that position, given that he was thrown in at the 11th hour in the WC. Are none of the young guys in MLS even worth a look?

  5. Charles Stamos, June 24, 2015 at 2:56 p.m.

    I see Morris as part of the USMNT future and the future begins now.

  6. Kenneth Barr, June 24, 2015 at 7:07 p.m.

    Dempsey needs to be dropped for disciplinary reasons. That makes room for either Morris or Gordon.

  7. James Madison, June 24, 2015 at 7:15 p.m.

    I can scarcely wait to see Shea not play. Now, if only JK would fall out of love with Altidore, there would be some hope for the future. It will be interesting also to watch how far into their 30s Dempsey and Wondo will last.

  8. beautiful game, June 24, 2015 at 9:12 p.m.

    I'll be surprised to see an other than samo-samo performance by these vets.

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