Predicting the USMNT Gold Cup roster

Concacaf announced preliminary rosters for the 2021 Gold Cup this friday. Each of the 12 participating sides named up to 60 players to choose from, with the final 23 man squads due on July 1.

Four Nashville SC players are in contention to represent their teams: Walker Zimmerman for the U.S., Alistair Johnston for Canada, Randall Leal for Costa Rica and Aníbal Godoy for Panama.

U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter has indicated that he won’t call up many players who were with the squad for their Nations League campaign, if any at all. It’s likely we’ll see an entirely new group of players for this tournament.

With the release of the preliminary roster, Broadway Sports Media‘s Ben Wright and Jonathan Slape have each selected a 23 man roster for the Gold Cup. Here are their picks.

Goalkeeper

Steve Hamlin-MLS

Consensus picks:
Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
Sean Johnson (NYCFC)

Dissensus picks:
JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – Ben
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United) – Slape

Why?

“Guzan is a veteran option who’s performed for the U.S. in the past, but Turner is the first choice here and possibly with the full team. Give that camp experience to a young up-and-comer like Marcinkowski instead.” – Ben

Right back

Concacaf.com/MexSport

Consensus picks:
Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy)
Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls)

Dissensus picks:
None

Center back

Casey Gower-Broadway Sports

Consensus picks:
Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
Auston Trusty (Colorado Rapids)

Dissensus picks:
Henry Kessler (New England Revolution) – Ben

Why?

“I went back and forth with even including four center backs here, since James Sands can give you cover. Kessler is a solid option, though, and you can never have too much center back depth. Getting him experience early could be useful down the road.” – Ben

Left back

EM Dash Photography-Louisville City FC

Consensus picks:
Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)

Dissensus picks:
George Bello (Atlanta United) – Slape
Jonathan Gómez (Louisville City FC) – Ben

Why?

“Sam Vines is the clear first choice left back here. George Bello has tons of promise, but Jonathan Gómez is heading to Europe as soon as he turns 18 and has already been called to train with Mexico. If he continues to develop at this rate, he’ll be a legitimate option for the first team in a few short seasons, and I’m all for getting him cap-tied early.” – Ben

Center midfield

Katie Cahalin-MLS

Consensus picks:
James Sands (NYCFC)
Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers)
Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC)
Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls)

Dissensus picks:
Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas) – Ben
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) – Slape
Leon Flach (Philadelphia Union) – Slape

Why?

“Sebastian Lletget is the veteran midfield option who is primarily a creative force, but can help back on the defensive side. His five goals and one assist in the last 12 months make him a no-brainer selection.” – Slape

Wing

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Consensus picks:
Paul Arriola (DC United)
Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC)

Dissensus picks:
Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) – Ben
Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers) – Slape

Why?

“Pepi is one of the quickest players in the pool. Having an option like him off the bench to open up space behind a tired defense in the July heat is an intriguing option.” – Ben

Striker

Devin L’Amoreaux & Matthew Stith-MLS

Consensus picks:
Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)
Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes)

Dissensus picks:
Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC) – Ben
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) – Slape

Why?

“Altidore may be one of the most divisie choices for USMNT fans, but the national team striker can be a dominant force. His ability to hold up the ball and play teammates in, as well as create his own shots, make him a worthwhile inclusion.” – Slape

Potential XI

Final rosters are due on July 1. Gregg Berhalter and the U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off their 2021 Gold Cup on Sunday, July 11 in Kansas City.

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