Gyasi Zardes named to U.S. National Team's roster for 2017

Beth Cruz
June 27, 2017

"They're going to be highlight motivated and they have an opportunity to make a statement".

Arena, however, might tweak the roster before Tuesday's formal deadline because FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez is awaiting Federation Internationale de Football Association approval to switch affiliation to the United States from Mexico.

"I don't think I have to make that point to them, I think they're well aware of that", coach Bruce Arena said Monday after the team's first practice at Lipscomb University. Zardes is among nine players who were not born when the USA won the inaugural CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991. They will play a tune-up friendly against Ghana in East Hartford on July 1.

Players begin reporting June 25 into Nashville, with Morris and Roldan set to join the squad following tonight's match between Seattle and Portland at Providence Park. Kickoff for tonight's Cascadia Cup matchup is at 7:30 p.m. PT, with national coverage on ESPN2 beginning at 7:00 p.m. PT. Fans in the Seattle are invited to a watch party Doyle's Public House in Tacoma (208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402) featuring Jason Rantz, Pete Fewing and Danny Jackson broadcasting their pre-match, halftime and post-match radio coverage live from the venue.

GOLDEN TICKET Historically, outstanding individual performances by relative newcomers in the Gold Cup have directly led to a player's inclusion on the upcoming World Cup roster.

Sixteen players come from Major League Soccer and four from Mexican clubs: defenders Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca) and Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna), and midfielders of Paul Arriola and Joe Corona of Tijuana. Morrow made his only appearance in a 2013 exhibition against Canada.

Pulisic is unlikely to be among them: His Bundesliga employer, Borussia Dortmund, dives into preseason matches in a few weeks and, although clubs can not block call-ups for a confederation championship like the Gold Cup, Arena seems inclined to let him work in Germany before rejoining the national team in late August for World Cup qualifiers. "These players will push to position themselves to be a big part of things moving forward".

Howard and Guzan seem certain of remaining at the top of the depth chart through the World Cup in Russian Federation (assuming the United States qualifies), but by next summer, they will be 39 and 33, respectively. "And we have to piece it all together in a short period of time".

The tournament opens July 8 against Panama in Nashville, Tennessee. In 13 previous editions, the United States of America is 51-8-8 all-time, advancing to the final nine times and the semifinals on 12 occasions.

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