CHICAGO — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a 23-man roster including Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers that will seek to capture the team’s fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup title at the 2011 edition of the tournament that takes place from June 5-25 in 13 venues across the United States.
The team will begin gathering for training Thursday in Cary, N.C. However, players who are still involved in league competition will join camp following their weekend matches, including Rogers who will be available for the Crew’s match vs. Chivas USA Saturday at Crew Stadium. Rogers, who has two goals and one assist in his fifth season with the Crew entering Saturday’s game, has earned 10 international caps and scored one goal with the U.S.
The USA will begin Group C play on June 7 against Canada at Ford Field in Detroit at 8 p.m. ET. Group play continues June 11 against Panama at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. ET. The group stage will end for the U.S. on June 14 against Guadeloupe at 8 p.m. CT at the newly christened LIVESTRONG Park in Kansas City, Kan. The broadcast schedule is expected to be announced in the near future.
The U.S. will use the same roster to take on 2010 FIFA World Cup champion Spain on June 4 in Foxborough, Mass. Kickoff against the current No.1-ranked team in the world is set for 4:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN and Univision. Fans can follow all of the USA’s action this summer live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
“We have said since the start of the new cycle that winning the Gold Cup this year is a top priority, and that was our focus as we built this roster,” said Bradley. “We have a very experienced group, and we know that in a tournament like this all 23 players will need to contribute in order for us to be successful.”
The U.S. roster is packed with experience, returning 14 players from the squad that won its group at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. There are 11 players on the roster with a Gold Cup title to their credit, with Landon Donovan a three-time winner. Donovan, who is the USA’s all-time leader in Gold Cup scoring with 12 career goals, is one appearance shy of tying Kasey Keller (23) for the most ever by a U.S. player. Carlos Bocanegra, who has captained the United States since 2007, Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu have each collected a pair of championships. Rogers was a member of the 2009 team that reached the Gold Cup final. At the other end of the spectrum, nine players will be playing in their first Gold Cup finals.
Tim Howard backstops the U.S. defense, carrying 58 caps and 20 career shutouts into this summer. He earned Man of the Match honors in the USA’s 2-0 win against Spain in the semifinal of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, ending their 35-match unbeaten run. In central defense, Clarence Goodson joins Bocanegra and Onyewu, the Brondy-based defender appearing in his second Gold Cup after scoring the game-winner in the 2009 semifinal against Honduras. Steve Cherundolo makes his debut for the U.S. in 2011, having captained Hannover to a fourth-place finish in the Bundesliga and a place in the Europa League. Tim Ream is the only MLS-based defender on the roster, the 2010 Rookie of the Year finalist bringing three national team appearances into his first confederation championship.
Along with Dempsey, Donovan and Rogers in the midfield, veterans Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu are joined by Jermaine Jones, who is making his debut in an international tournament for the United States. Benny Feilhaber was the hero of the 2007 Gold Cup final, his stunning volley lifting the U.S. to a 2-1 victory against Mexico that earned the U.S. a place in the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. Both Rogers and Sacha Kljestan were on the USA’s 30-man preliminary roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while Freddy Adu has been included in the full team for the first since the 2009 Gold Cup.
Jozy Altidore leads the attacking contingent and will be participating in his first Gold Cup. Into double digits in scoring for the United States, he tallied the game-winner in the Confederations Cup semifinal against Spain. Juan Agudelo was the first U.S. Soccer Development Academy alumnus to play for the full team and has two goals in four appearances. Chris Wondolowski, the 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner, currently ranks third on the MLS scoring charts with five goals in 10 matches.
The United States has won four Gold Cup championships since the tournament began in 1991, including three of the last five, and has reached the final of the last three editions of the event. Incredibly, the U.S. has never lost a match in group play, holding a 23-0-2 lifetime record. Overall, the U.S. has a 38-5-6 record in Gold Cup action.
The winner of the 2011 Gold Cup will represent CONCACAF at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Eric Lichaj (Leeds), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United) MIDFIELDERS (9): Freddy Adu (Rizespor), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew) FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)