Seattle forward Clint Dempsey and defender Brad Evans, as well as former Sounder DeAndre Yedlin, were among 23 players named Tuesday by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to the U.S. Men’s National Team that will compete in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Following a tuneup against Guatamala July 3 in Nashville, the USMNT will begin Gold Cup play July 7 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX., against Honduras.
Twelve CONCACAF teams will compete for the Gold Cup: Three from North America, five from Central America and four from the Caribbean. The winning team qualifies for a playoff to determine which CONCACAF entry participates at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, a World Cup dress rehearsal that features the champion from each region in the world, the defending World Cup champion, and the host, which in 2017 will be Russia.
With its Gold Cup win in 2013, the U.S. has already qualified for that playoff. Should it win this year’s Cup, it will earn an automatic bid for the Confederations Cup, the ultimate goal for Klinsmann’s team.
Dempsey, serving a three-match suspension for tearing up a referee’s notebook during a U.S. Open Cup match 10 days ago, is captain of the men’s national team and represented the U.S. at the FIFA World Cup last year in Brazil. He has played in 15 Gold Cup games during his career with five goals scored.
Evans did not make last year’s World Cup roster, but has served national team duty this season. Yedlin, who spent last season with Tottenham Hotspur, played in the 2014 World Cup.
The USA has won the Gold Cup five times (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013) and finished runner-up four times (1992, 1998, 2009, 2011). The USMNT has finished outside of the top four only once (2000).
In the U.S.’s tuneup July 3 against Guatemala, Dempsey and Evans will play against Sounders teammate Marco Pappa.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon).
DEFENDERS (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers).
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).