Gregg Berhalter selects 23-player USMNT roster for Concacaf Gold Cup
CHICAGO – In advance of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has selected the final 23-player roster. With a mix of veterans and promising young talent, the United States will pursue its seventh confederation championship title.
“Our priority is to win the Gold Cup. Anytime we’re competing for a trophy, we want to win it,” Berhalter said. “It’s going to take a good effort by the group, but it’s certainly a focus of ours. We know the games are going to be difficult, and as we looked at the roster for this tournament, we focused on guys who are in form and can help the team win.”
The USMNT is part of Group B in the Gold Cup along with Canada, Martinique and a team that will be determined through the 2021 Gold Cup Prelims. The USA will play all of its group matches at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.
Based on the outcome of the Gold Cup Prelims Round, the remaining team in Group B could be one of four possibilities: Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti or St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Prelims Round will run from July 2-6 at in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The United States has lifted the Concacaf Gold Cup six times, most recently in the 2017 edition. The USMNT won the inaugural tournament in 1991 before being crowned regional champions again in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013.
Per tournament rules, the final roster will be submitted prior to midnight tonight. A player may be replaced on the roster up to 24 hours prior a team’s first match of the group phase in the case of injury. The replacement player must come from the 60-man preliminary roster.
USMNT GOLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United; 64/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 1/0)
DEFENDERS (8): George Bello (Atlanta United; 1/0), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 18/1), Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP; 5/0), Donovan Pines (D.C. United; 0/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 3/1), James Sands (New York City FC; 0/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 3/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 14/2)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 31/2), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 24/7), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 20/0), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 12/0)
FORWARDS: (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 35/8), Daryl Dike (Orlando City; 3/1), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 3/2), Matthew Hoppe (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 7/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 56/12)
With the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying in Concacaf expanding to eight teams and 14 matches while simultaneously condensing the process from 18 months to only seven, depth in the squad is going to be critical. Considering that four of the five windows will require teams to play three matches in seven days, there’s no question that more players than ever will be called upon to contribute. That gives this Gold Cup even more significance, as 12 players have the chance to compete in an official competition for the first time and experience what it will be like to face the very opponents that will be challenging the USMNT for spots in the World Cup.
“When we were looking at both the Gold Cup and the Nations League, we were thinking about one big roster picture, not two separate rosters. The idea was to prepare our entire player pool in a competitive CONCACAF format for World Cup Qualifying,” Berhalter said. “When you look at this roster, it’s basically another group of players that are going to get the opportunity to compete to win a trophy. By the end of this tournament, we’re going to have virtually the entire player pool prepared for World Cup qualifying.”
EXPERIENCE AT THE CORE
The roster is also littered with players who not only have tournament experience under their belts, but also are steeped in the Berhalter game model. A total of nine players enter with Gold Cup experience, including six who have been part of championship squads: Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson (2 each), Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Cristian Roldan, and Gyasi Zardes (1 each).
Meantime, Sebastian Lletget is the only USMNT player to appear in every match (11) during the last two calendar years. The veteran midfielder has registered five goals and one assist in that time. He’s tied with Kellyn Acosta for most appearances in 2021 (7) and with Gio Reyna for most goals by a USMNT player this year (3).
“A lot of the work we’ve done since 2019 is to prepare this group and also build team cohesion. With this roster, many of the players are already familiar with how we do things, are already familiar with our environment and are already familiar with our style of play. I think that’s going to help us,” Berhalter said. “When you look at some of these core guys, like Walker [Zimmerman], Sebastian [Lleget], Kellyn [Acosta], Jackson [Yueill], Paul [Arriola], Gyasi [Zardes] … these are guys that have been in over these last two years and have been major parts of the team. Although it’s a young team, we think it’s an experienced team and we’re looking forward to getting even more experience in a Concacaf competition.”
GROUP B SCHEDULE
The U.S. opens Group B play on July 11 against the team that advances from the Prelim Round (9 p.m. ET; FS1, Univision, TUDN). Four days later, the USMNT faces Martinique for the third time in confederation championship history (10 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMás, TUDN), before closing out the opening phase against northern neighbor Canada (5 p.m. ET; FOX, Univision, TUDN).
GOLD CUP HISTORY
Beginning with the inaugural tournament in 1991, the U.S. Men’s National Team has won the Concacaf Gold Cup on six occasions, coming away with the confederation title again in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013 and 2017. In 13 previous editions, the USA is 56-8-9 all-time, advancing to the Final a total of 10 times and the Semifinals on 13 occasions.
- As of the first day of training on July 6, the 23-player roster will hold an average age of 24 years, 335 days, with nine players age 23 and younger.
- Players on the roster average 13 caps overall and five caps in official competition.
- Nineteen of the 23 players represent a total of 13 different clubs in Major League Soccer. Atlanta United and Colorado Rapids lead the way with three players each, followed by D.C. United, New York City FC (2 each); Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, Orlando City SC, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City (1 each).
- Defenders Reggie Cannon (Boavista; Portugal) and Shaq Moore (Tenerife; Spain) and forwards Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen; France) and Matthew Hoppe (Schalke; Germany) make up the European-based contingent.
- With three tournament rosters each, goalkeepers Brad Guzan (2007, 2015, 2017), Sean Johnson (2013, 2017, 2019) and forward Gyasi Zardes (2015, 2017, 2019), headline a list of nine players who have previously taken part in the Gold Cup. They are followed by two-time selections Paul Arriola and Cristian Roldan (both 2017, 2019), as well as Kellyn Acosta (2017), Reggie Cannon, Jonathan Lewis and Walker Zimmerman (all 2019).
- Six players have been part of Gold Cup championship squads: Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson (2 each); Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Cristian Roldan, and Gyasi Zardes (1 each)
- On the flip side, 12 players have a chance to make their first appearances in official competition for the USMNT: George Bello, Gianluca Busio, Daryl Dike, Nicholas Gioacchini, Matthew Hoppe, Shaq Moore, Donovan Pines, Miles Robinson, James Sands, Matt Turner, Sam Vines and Eryk Williamson.
- Four players were part of the U.S. squad that won the inaugural Concacaf Nations League championship earlier this summer: Kellyn Acosta, Reggie Cannon, Sebastian Lletget and Jackson Yueill.
- All four players – along with Daryl Dike and Walker Zimmerman – appeared in the 4-0 win against Costa Rica on June 9, with Cannon and Dike scoring their first international goals in the match. Additionally, Matthew Hoppe was part of the USMNT matchday squad on May 30 at Switzerland.
- Sporting KC midfielder Gianluca Busio and NYCFC defender James Sands are the two players on the roster to earn their first USMNT call ups. Sands will turn 21 on July 6, the day of his first USMNT training session.
- Nicholas Gioacchini is the other player in the Gold Cup team with Kansas City ties. The French-based forward was born in the City of Fountains before moving with his family to Italy at age eight.
- The 20-year-old Gioacchini made the most of his debut camp last November, scoring two goals in his first start (second cap) to help the USMNT to a 6-2 comeback victory against Panama on Nov. 16, 2020, in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Gioacchini also registered an assist on Sebastian Lletget’s 83rd minute strike in the 4-1 win against Jamaica on March 25, 2021, in Wiener Neustadt.
- Shaq Moore earns his first USMNT call-up since November 2018. With five international appearances to his name, the 26-year-old right back comes to his first camp under Gregg Berhalter after making 41 league appearances with Tenerife during the 2020-21 Spanish Segunda campaign.
- A veteran of the USA’s 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup side, Moore last appeared in the USMNT’s 1-0 defeat to Italy on Nov. 20, 2018 in Genk, Belgium.
- With 11-straight appearances, Sebastian Lletget has played in every match the last two calendar years. The veteran midfielder has registered five goals and one assist in that time.
- Lletget is tied with Kellyn Acosta for most USMNT appearances in 2021 (7) and with Gio Reyna for most goals by a USMNT player this year (3).
- Gyasi Zardes’ team-leading 16 Gold Cup caps currently place him in a tie with Kyle Beckerman and Pablo Mastroeni for 10th on the USMNT’s all-time Gold Cup appearances list.
- Since 2018, Zardes leads all U.S.-eligible players in MLS with 47 goals. The veteran striker also sits eighth all-time on the USMNT’s Gold Cup scoring list with four goals.
- After a loan stint during which he helped Barnsley earn a place in the EFL Championship Promotion Playoffs, Daryl Dike bagged his first two goals since returning to Orlando City SC in last week’s 5-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes. Dike – who is in his second professional season — has 19 goals in 39 league appearances between Orlando City (10 goals / 20 games) and Barnsley (9 goals / 19 games).
- Midfielder Cristian Roldan made his international debut during the 2017 Gold Cup, starting the team’s 3-2 win against Martinique on July 12, 2017, in Tampa. The USA will play Martinique on July 15, three days after the four-year anniversary of that match.
- Five players will have the opportunity to earn their USMNT debuts during the Gold Cup: Gianluca Busio, Matthew Hoppe, Donovan Pines, James Sands and Eryk Williamson.