Chris Pontius - Philadelphia Union - celebration - New York Red Bulls

The US national team announced a late change to their Gold Cup roster on Wednesday, calling in Philadelphia Union midfielder Chris Pontius as an injury replacement for Kenny Saief.


Saief made his USMNT debut in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win over Ghana, but the Gent midfielder has been sidelined with a groin injury that rules him out of the Gold Cup, which the US begin on Saturday vs. Panama in Nashville (4:30 PM ET | FOX, Univision, UDN in US, TSN2 in Canada).


Per tournament rules, and pending CONCACAF approval, a team may replace an injured player on the roster up to 24 hours prior to their first match. The player must come from the 40-man preliminary roster, which was released last month.


Pontius, 30, earned his first two caps earlier this year against Serbia and Jamaica during the USMNT’s January camp; he has recorded six assists in 17 league appearances for the Union this season. The winger will join the US squad in Nashville on Friday following Philly’s match at Sporting Kansas City on Thursday (8:30 PM ET | MLS LIVE).


Updated USMNT Gold Cup roster


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC)


DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca, MEX), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, ENG), Matt Miazga (Chelsea, ENG), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)


MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana, MEX), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana, MEX), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)


FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)