CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 Preview: United States

The United States National Team bring a B squad to the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t taking the tournament seriously. In fact, quite the opposite, they are testing their depth against the confederation’s best. Can Bruce Arena’s squad full of Major League Soccer talent pull it off? Perhaps they don’t have enough to go all the way.

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 Preview: United States

Gold Cup 2017 Preview
Brad Guzan goalkeeper of USA looks on during the Group B match between United States and Panama as part of the Gold Cup 2017 at Nissan Stadium on July 08, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. – Getty Images

Introduction to the Article

The crew from Soccer 2 the MAX, Rachael McKriger, Erik Watkins and Sean Garmer each took a group and have done previews for each squad ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 tournament. They give a little about of information on their history in the tournament. Their recent form, the manager and the squad. After that, they give a Player to Watch, and discuss what could happen. Finally, they give their prediction on the team’s final place in the tournament. Hopefully, you enjoy our team preview articles.

Gold Cup History

The U.S. Men’s National Team have a long, extensive Gold Cup history. The USMNT qualify automatically for Gold Cup tournaments. Not only because they are always seeded, but because they mostly always host the tournament as well.

They have won the tournament five times, including the first one in 1991. The most recent win came in 2013. In 2015, they fell to Jamaica in the semifinals, and then lost to Panama in the third-place match, winding up in fourth place.

Gold Cup 2017 Team Roster

Gold Cup 2017 Preview
The US National Team starting lineup for the group stage match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup between the United States and Panama on July 08, 2017. The United States and Panama played to a 1-1 draw at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. – Getty Images

Goalkeepers 1 Brad Guzan, 12 Bill Hamid, 22 Sean Johnson

Defenders 2 Jorge Villafana, 3 Omar Gonzalez, 4 Matt Miazga, 5 Matt Besler, 15 Eric Lichaj, 16 Justin Morrow, 19 Graham Zusi

Midfielders 6 Kellyn Rowe, 7 Chris Pontius, 9 Gyasi Zardes, 10 Joe Corona, 11 Alejandro Bedoya, 13 Dax McCarty, 17 Christian Roldan 20 Paul Arriola, 23 Kellyn Acosta

Forwards 8 Jordan Morris, 14 Dom Dwyer, 18 Juan Agudelo

Recent Form

The USMNT can take confidence from how they’ve performed since the re-appointment of Bruce Arena as national team manager. In World Cup qualifying matches, the USMNT defeated Honduras and Trinidad & Tobago and then earned draws against Panama and Mexico down in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. They also defeated Ghana 2-1 in pre-tournament warm-up game on July 1.

The Manager: Bruce Arena

Gold Cup 2017 Preview
United States Head Coach / Manager Bruce Arena looks on during the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B match between the United States and Panama at Nissan Stadium on July 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. – Getty Images

Bruce Arena started his second stint as USMNT manager in November 2016. Replacing Jurgen Klinsman. Bruce Arena managed two different U.S. teams to Gold Cup victories back in 2002 and 2005. Of course, he also held a long tenure as head coach of the LA Galaxy as well. So far, the United States is undefeated with Arena as manager holding a 4W-4D-0L record.

Player to Watch

Gold Cup 2017 Preview
Dom Dwyer #14 of U.S. Men’s National Team locks shoulders with Jerry Akaminko #14 of the Ghana National Team during the International Friendly Match between U.S, Men’s National Team and Ghana at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field on July 01, 2017 in East Hartford, Connecticut. U.S. Men’s National team won the match with a score of 2 to 1. – Getty Images

Dom Dwyer is presumably getting the start as the main forward for the United States, with only one previous cap to his name. After receiving his citizenship in March, Dwyer has been on the lips of everyone when it comes to strikers. Hoping their would be an opportunity for him to play for the stars and stripes. This is his opportunity to look for a spot on next year’s World Cup squad, should the United States qualify. Dom Dwyer brings energy, hustle and a great goal scoring record to this USMNT squad. He has the history at Sporting Kansas City to prove it. Not to mention a goal against Ghana in their warm-up friendly too. Would not be surprised at all, if Dwyer is in the conversation for Golden Boot by tournament’s end.

Getting Through the Group

Getting through their group won’t be a breeze for the United States. Mainly, because they have Panama in their way, who they face first on June 8. Expect the USMNT to get wins over Martinique on July 12. Then, Nicaragua on July 15. If this group of mostly MLS veterans and youngsters can gel together, they could be primed for a big run. However, they could also lose unexpectedly, due to this being a B team.

Final Thoughts

I expect the United States to make it to the semifinals, but then fall. I’ve made it clear that the U.S. National Team can’t win a tournament with just a bunch of domestic players. The players that are abroad – especially the European players – are getting the best coaching and best competition in their leagues. Truthfully, they’re much better players. That will reflect on this USMNT and I predict they finish in third place.

Rachael’s Prediction: United States Win Group B, Lose in Semi-Finals.

Erik’s Prediction: United States Win Group B, Win Gold Cup 2017. Sean’s Prediction: United States Win Group B, Win Gold Cup 2017.

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