Recent U.S.-eligible players Dom Dwyer and Kenny Saief were among those named Sunday to the 23-man roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Dwyer became a U.S. citizen in March and Saief had his change of his allegiance from Israel to the U.S. granted last week. They join Cristian Roldan and Kelyn Rowe as players who received their first national team call-up. The Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes was also named to the team coached by Bruce Arena.
The England-born Dwyer said in the preseason that he looked forward to the opportunity to represent the U.S. He is married to U.S. women’s national player Sydney Leroux.
“I’ve been here about nine years now,” Dwyer said. “So it’s almost like my second home now, if not my home. I love this country and it’s given a lot to me. So if I ever get the opportunity to give something back to it, I think that’s something I’d always jump at.”
The tournament is known as a stage for players to prove worthy of inclusion in the World Cup, to be held next year in Russia. DaMarcus Beasley, Pablo Mastroeni, Clint Dempsey, Jimmy Conrad and Matt Besler are among past players to have turned the Gold Cup into a World Cup appearance.
Arena had said the roster would largely be second-tier players. Sixteen are from the MLS, and 12 have World Cup qualifying experience.
“It’s a good roster with a nice blend of experienced, veteran players and a good group of newcomers as well,” Arena said in a release. “There’s good balance at every position.”
The goalies are Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson. Jesse Gonzalez was named to the 40-man preliminary roster but was not included. Gonzalez is eligible to play for the U.S. and Mexico but his paperwork is awaiting approval, according to a report.
The U.S. will play Ghana in a tournament tune-up on Saturday in East Hartford, Conn., before opening the Gold Cup on July 8 against Panama in Nashville.
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson
Defenders (8): Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj, Matt Miazga, Justin Morrow, Jorge Villafaña, Graham Zusi
Midfielders (9): Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya, Joe Corona, Dax McCarty, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe, Kenny Saief, Gyasi Zardes
Forwards (3): Juan Agudelo, Dom Dwyer, Jordan Morris