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MLS Fantasy: How will the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup affect your roster strategy in upcoming rounds?

Gold Cup issues, MLS Fantasy

Photo Credit: 
USA Today sports

The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off July 7, and while 35-man preliminary rosters have already been released for all 12 teams participating, it's not until June 27 that the 23-man rosters must be finalized.

The US national team will play their first official game of the tournament on July 9 at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, but they also have a friendly scheduled for July 5 against Guatemala in San Diego.

Even though the Gold Cup starts in early July, some MLS teams will be releasing their players much earlier. Chivas USA, for instance, are releasing Steve Purdy after their game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. Purdy will likely miss five games, and if El Salvador make it through the group stage, he'll be expected to miss even more time.

For MLS Fantasy owners, this could be a problem. You already know the date by which rosters need to be finalized (June 27), but the uncertainty of who will be called in and when still looms. With a friendly scheduled for July 5, you can expect all USMNT players to be gone prior to Round 19 (July 3-4), but whether they'll miss Round 18 (June 28-29) still remains to be seen.

UPDATE: U.S. Men's National team players are expected to report to camp on July 1.

Since Round 17 of MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager takes place between June 22-23, you should expect all players to be available, unless their respective clubs release them earlier (e.g. Steve Purdy).

It's possible that USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will give guys such as Graham Zusi, Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez a chance to return to their MLS clubs, in order to give some other players like Landon Donovan, Jack McInerney and Tony Beltran the opportunity to showcase their talent. But he might choose to keep a similar mix to the team preparing to play Honduras on Tuesday night in the name of maintaining rapport with one another. Fantasy owners will hope this is not the case.

Regardless, you'll want to keep a close eye on this situation as it develops, so that when the final rosters are revealed and players start departing, you aren't left scrambling to put together a lineup last-minute. Have a look at how it could potentially affect each MLS team below.

Related content:

Team-by-team breakdown of MLS representation at Gold Cup: You'll notice that four goalkeepers (below) have been selected to the preliminary roster for the US. These four are the only 'keepers selected by Klinsmann for this tournament. This is something you'll want to consider when selecting defenders in the coming rounds. If Tally Hall gets called in, backup Tyler Deric ($3.8m) could be a nice bargain worth taking a chance on.

Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson (USA)

Chivas USA: Steve Purdy (El Salvador) – Confirmed

Colorado Rapids: N/A

Columbus Crew: Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica)

D.C. United: Bill Hamid (USA), Dwayne De Rosario (Canada), Dejan Jakovic (Canada), Kyle Porter (Canada)

FC Dallas: Blas Pérez (Panama)

Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall (USA), Brad Davis (USA), Will Bruin (USA), Corey Ashe (USA)

LA Galaxy: Omar Gonzalez (USA), Landon Donovan (USA)

Montreal Impact: N/A

New England Revolution: N/A

New York Red Bulls: Roy Miller (Costa Rica)

Philadelphia Union: Jack McInerney (USA), Keon Daniel (Trinidad & Tobago) – Confirmed

Portland Timbers: Will Johnson (Canada), Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica), Frédéric Piquionne (Martinique)

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando (USA), Kyle Beckerman (USA), Tony Beltran (USA), Álvaro Saborío (Costa Rica)

Seattle Sounders: Eddie Johnson (USA), Brad Evans (USA)

San Jose Earthquakes: Chris Wondolowski (USA), Alan Gordon (USA), Marvin Chávez (Honduras), Nana Attakora (Canada)

Sporting KC: Matt Besler (USA), Graham Zusi (USA), Benny Feilhaber (USA), Mechack Jérôme (Haiti), Peterson Joseph (Haiti)

Toronto FC: Kyle Bekker (Canada), Doneil Henry (Canada), Ashtone Morgan (Canada), Jonathan Osorio (Canada)

Vancouver Whitecaps: Johnny Leverón (Honduras), Russell Teibert (Canada), Simon Thomas (Canada)