Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley set to join U.S. Gold Cup squad - sources
ESPN - Sunday 16th July, 2017
U.S. manager Bruce Arena is poised to bring in some heavy reinforcements to his Gold Cup roster.
Tournament rules allow teams to make up to six changes once the group stage is complete, so long as the added players come from a team's 40-man preliminary roster.
As such, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC that Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe, FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, and the Toronto FC duo of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore will be among those called up by Arena after the Americans' final group stage encounter against Nicaragua on Saturday.
Goal.com was the first to report Nagbe's and Gonzalez's inclusion, and also said that Seattle forward Clint Dempsey and Colorado Rapids keeper Tim Howard will also be included. Sportsnet earlier reported the addition of Bradley and Altidore.
Arena indicated at his news conference before Saturday's match that he was pleased with his team's progress so far in the tournament, with the U.S. claiming four points from its first two matches.
But the reality is that the U.S. has looked far from convincing in its first two games -- a 1-1 draw with Panama and a 3-2 win over Martinique -- and while Gonzalez's addition is more about getting him acclimated to the national team setup, the other five should provide a significant boost to the U.S. team's chances of winning the tournament.
The U.S.'s place in the knockout stage was assured as Panama defeated Martinique before the Americans kick off against Nicaragua.
Arena made 11 changes from the team that beat Martinique, though eight of the starters also began the opener against Panama. Bill Hamid gets his first start in goal over Brad Guzan, while Matt Miazga makes his first appearance of the tournament. Chris Pontius starts after coming on as a sub against Martinique.
The U.S. starting XI:
Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid (D.C. United) Defenders: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna) Midfielders: Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Joe Corona (Tijuana) Forward: Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City)
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.
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