MLS players stock U.S. Gold Cup roster
United States national team head coach Bruce Arena on Thursday announced that 16 Major League Soccer players have been named to his 23-man roster for the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the continental championship for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The 12-team tournament runs from July 6-24 in six cities across the U.S., with the USA matched with Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba in Group B. The Red, White and Blue will assemble for training on June 26 in Portland, Ore., before kicking off the competition on July 7 against Cuba at Qwest Field in Seattle at 10:30 p.m. ET (live on Telefutura).
Ten of Major League Soccer's teams will contribute at least one player to Arena's roster, with Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution taking the lead with four players being summoned. Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis is one of three uncapped players who will join the team, and he will be accompanied by club teammates Clint Dempsey, Steve Ralston and Pat Noonan.
The other two players who haven't yet represented the U.S. team at the full international level are San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Brad Davis and Kansas City Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad. Davis has been at the top of his game since joining the Quakes in the offseason and he currently leads the league in assists with seven in 13 games. Conrad has helped to again make Kansas City's defense one of the most formidable in MLS.
MLS players also provide experience on this roster with Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew) and Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) all bringing more than 60 appearances for their country to the table. Donovan is by far the most productive scorer on the team, having netted 22 goals in his 64 games.
Eddie Johnson (FC Dallas) will look to continue his amazing run with the national team. He has scored eight goals in as many games for Arena, though the Florida native is still working to overcome a case of turf toe that has sidelined him in recent weeks. Wizards striker Josh Wolff is healthy and will look to add to his seven goals for the U.S.
Tony Sanneh (Chicago Fire) and Greg Vanney (FC Dallas) provide experience in the back, while Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids) and Ben Olsen (D.C. United) will help shore things up in the midfield.
The Canadians announced their roster for the tournament on Wednesday, which features three MLS players. Dwayne De Rosario (San Jose Earthquakes), Will Johnson (Chicago Fire) and Felix Brillant (New England Revolution) will all suit up for Frank Yallop's team. Final rosters for the other 10 nations competing this summer are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.