US national head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made good on his word to balance veteran swagger and young talent for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup, paring the likes of World Cup veterans Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley with the rising stars of MLS in an attempt to win back the continental trophy next month on US soil.
Donovan and Beasley are the two most experienced players on the 23-man roster released on Thursday, but Klinsmann also included fellow World Cup veterans Oguchi Onyewu, Herculez Gomez and Jose Francisco Torres to help stabilize a group that opens play July 9 against Belize in Portland.
Ten of Klinsmann’s 23 players are currently in the MLS ranks, highlighted by Donovan and Philadelphia Union striker Jack McInerney who, at just 20 years old, has emerged this season as the one of the leading scorers in the league. San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski – who has leveraged his recent rise in MLS into US call-ups but has never quite stuck – is also back in the mix after winning the league MVP and Golden Boot award last season.
Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman is also back following an up-and-down series of call-ins by Klinsmann since 2011, and is the only pure holding midfielder on the roster.
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Several MLS youngsters will look to make their mark, including the Houston Dynamo duo of defender Corey Ashe – who was called in for last month’s friendly against Belgium but withdrew because of injury – and forward Will Bruin. RSL defender Tony Beltran is back after he was called in for but did not feature in the team's World Cup qualifier in Honduras in February.
Clarence Goodson and Stuart Holden, two veterans called in for recent World Cup qualifiers, are also on the list, along with European pros Michael Parkhurst, Josh Gatt, Mix Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya. Three players currently in Mexico – Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Michael Orozco Fiscal – round out the group.
The only players called in who have yet to receive a cap are Ashe and McInerney.
The US lost to Mexico in each of the past two Gold Cup finals (2011 and 2009), and last won the tournament in 2007, with a team that featured Donovan, Beasley and Onyewu.
US ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Oguchi Onyewu (Málaga/Spain), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla/Mexico), Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg/Germany)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg/Sweden), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Joshua Gatt (Molde FK), Stuart Holden (Bolton/England), Jose Torres (Tigres UANL/Mexico)
FORWARDS (5): Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)