The United States begins their quest for their 6th Gold Cup championship when they take on Panama’s seleccion of Canaleros in Nashville this afternoon. This is the de facto off year version due to it falling in the same year as the Confederations Cup, although it will still start the process of qualifying for the 2021 Confederations Cup (if it is in fact still is a thing in 2021). In essence, it will still be a B to B- collection of USMNT talent consisting largely of upstarts and never were fighting for a handful of roster spots for the 2018 World Cup. Here’s some very quick observations getting you primed for what should be an interesting exercise.
- Yeah, needed another dose of that. If the World Cup started today, Kellyn’s on the team and probably starting. This should be a shock to no one, but he toils in Frisco. Savor these moments, gang.
- Omar Gonzalez and Brad Guzan shouldn’t be considered B players either. If Zardes regains his form, you could argue he belongs in that group, and I’d say Bedoya’s pretty close, too.
- Dax McCarty and Chris Pontius have to have great tournaments here if they want to make the plane. Their age and some up and coming talent at their spots could make this their last shot.
- Although younger, Matt Hedges is in a similar position. The US has a ton of useful centerback options at the moment, and a boatload of young up and comers (including 21 year old Dutch Cup champion, Matt Miazga). C’mon Matty!
- It seems kind of depressing that a large swath of people are exciting about an outside back that escaped relegation from the Championship on goal difference, but there sure are a bunch of people stoked about Eric Lichaj. Good luck.
- I have a sneaking suspicion that Cristian Roldan won’t get that many minutes this tournament. The inventors of soccer and fan culture will not be pleased.
- The youngest goalscorer for the US in the modern era is Christian Pulisic. The 2nd youngest is Juan Agudelo. He’s still only 24. I’ve always really enjoyed his game, and there’s a little Dempsey in that guy.
- Along with Agudelo, there are 5 other field players under the age of 25 participating. Could be better, but this is at least a decent effort at looking toward the future while building a strong team.
- I really hope to see something from Justin Morrow this tournament. The perpetual question at left back still needs to be answered.
How to Watch
Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. CT
Available TV: FOX, Univision, Univision Deportes
Available Streams: Univision Deportes, Fox Sports Go