The CONCACAF Gold Cup will feature some of the best talents on the North American continent. Below are 10 names you'll want to pay special attention to during the 2017 edition of the tournament!
Want to be a part of the Gold Cup conversation? Tune in to Club & Country: After the Whistle on MLSsoccer.com immediately following every US national team game during the tournament!
You'll get LIVE reaction from guests such as Sigi Schmid, Matt Doyle, Bobby Warshaw, Andrew Wiebe and David Gass, and you can be a part of the conversation via ExtraTime Radio's Hot-Take Hotline. Call 401-206-0MLS with a hot take, question comment or prompt and help drive the conversation all the way through the final!
Kellyn Acosta (USA / FC Dallas)
It's been a rapid rise on the international level for 21-year-old central midfielder Kellyn Acosta. The return of Bruce Arena at the helm of the US national team has coincided with Acosta getting his big break and he's taken full advantage, showing uncanny poise and calm on the ball in high-stakes matches. The Gold Cup could help turn Acosta into a permanent US national team starter.
Andre Blake (Jamaica / Philadelphia Union)
Andre Blake has gone from goalkeeping prospect to the real thing and during the Gold Cup he'll be expected to show just why he's considered one of CONCACAF's best goalkeepers. Blake is already achieving acclaim on the club level with the Philadelphia Union, earning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2016 in his first full season as No. 1.
Anibal Godoy (Panama / San Jose Earthquakes)
Anibal Godoy can do it all. Whether it's winning balls, keeping possession, making passes or scoring goals, there's nothing beyond the skill set of the all-purpose midfielder, who is arguably the best overall player in the Panamanian squad. For the Canaleros to finally capture what's proven to be an elusive first Gold Cup title, the two-way central midfielder will need to play a star role.
David Guzman (Costa Rica / Portland Timbers)
David Guzman is the embodiment of the prototypical Costa Rican player which has transformed the country from curious novelty into a force to be reckoned with: He combines sublime skill with overpowering athleticism and tireless effort. It's that complete package that makes him an omnipresent central midfielder for club and country. He's already emerged as an essential cog in his first season in Portland, where he has also developed a reputation as a set-piece specialist.
Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica / NY Red Bulls)
It's hard to find quality left backs these days, let alone a left back that will dominate the entire flank from end to end. That's what makes Jamaica's Kemar Lawrence stand out in the international game. "Taxi," as he's tellingly nicknamed, captures the essence of the wide defender in the modern game: committed, hard-nosed defending combined with eager attacking forays and pinpoint crossing. It's no wonder why clubs around the world continue to covet the New York Red Bulls star.
Erick Torres (Mexico / Houston Dynamo)
Erick "Cubo" Torres has that "it" factor ascribed to the world's best forwards. He may not be the fastest or the strongest of strikers, but he has a natural instinct to score goals. His movements around the penalty area, his quick thinking and an uncanny ability to see plays before they happen have allowed him to be one of the most lethal forwards in MLS over recent years. After a difficult spell back home in Mexico, he's found his form again in Houston, just in time to help El Tri in its quest to add to its record Gold Cup haul.
Dax McCarty (USA / Chicago Fire)
He doesn't rake in the goals and assists, but if you watch a match closely enough you'll notice just how valuable midfield general Dax McCarty continues to be for both club and country. He has proven an essential upgrade for the new-look Chicago Fire that are suddenly razing the competition in MLS and he has also shined in his return to the US national team under new boss Bruce Arena. His feel for the game and his positioning in central midfield is unmatched and seemingly gets better with age.
Jordan Morris (USA / Seattle Sounders)
He's only 22, but Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris has backed up all the hype surrounding his name so far in his budding career. He was the best player in college in 2015 and led his Stanford University team to a national championship. He was voted the best rookie in MLS in 2016 and helped his hometown Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup title. That's not to mention that he scored in his first-ever start for the US national team against rivals Mexico. Expect him to have a prominent role if the US is to make a run at the Gold Cup title.
Romell Quioto (Honduras / Houston Dynamo)
Given he plays on the same club team as his compatriot Alberth Elis, 25-year-old winger Romell Quioto is often grouped with his fellow Houston Dynamo winger, but don't confuse the two: Quioto, who has been in the Honduran national team set-up for several years, has a different game. While Elis is a slasher who wants to go straight at goal, Quioto is more of a playmaker from his wing position. Like Elis, he can run at defenders, but he also can keep possession, bring his teammates into the game and deliver pinpoint crosses. Plus, he's an honest defender, arguably making him the more complete package at winger.
Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica / NYCFC)
If NYCFC are now considered championship contenders in MLS, the addition and contributions of Costa Rican left winger Rodney Wallace are a major reason why. The MLS veteran will carry that form into the Gold Cup, where he will be an important part of a Ticos attack that enters the tournament with question marks as to who will score the goals. Armed with most of their first-choice players, Costa Rica are considered one of the Gold Cup favorites, but they'll only make a deep run if Wallace can be as goal-threatening as he has been in MLS.