Three Sporting Kansas City players were named to the U.S. Men’s National Team roster on Sunday for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Gold Cup is scheduled July 7-26 in 14 cities across the United States, according to Sporting KC.
Defenders Graham Zusi and Matt Besler boast previous CONCACAF Gold Cup experience as seasoned veterans on head coach Bruce Arena’s 23-man squad, while forward Dom Dwyer – who gained U.S. MNT eligibility when he became an American citizen in March – is poised to represent the United States for the first time at the international stage.
“It’s an incredible honor to represent the United States for the first time, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me make this goal a reality,” Dwyer said. “Playing with a talented group of players is a fantastic opportunity, and I am excited to compete in front of our home fans and help our team win.”
“It’s always an honor to play for the national team, especially in a major tournament like the Gold Cup,” Zusi said. “We’re very excited to contend for another trophy and continue our recent run of good form.”
“The Gold Cup is an extremely important competition for everyone involved, and we hope to replicate the success of 2013 by winning the championship,” Besler said. “With World Cup qualifiers continuing in the fall, we want to keep moving forward as a team and perform at a high level.”
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the biennial international championship contested among nations from the North, Central American and Caribbean region. The 2017 edition separates 12 teams into three groups of four, with the top two finishers from each group and the two best third-placed teams qualifying for the quarterfinals. The Gold Cup final will take place on Wednesday, July 26, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
The Americans were drawn into Group B and will face Panama (July 8), Martinique (July 12) and Nicaragua (July 15) over an eight-day period. Prior to kicking off the tournament, the U.S. will host Ghana in a tune-up friendly this Saturday inside Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff is slated for 3:45 p.m. on ESPN, leading into Sporting Kansas City’s nationally televised home match against the Portland Timbers at 6 p.m. on the same channel.
The U.S. MNT is a five-time Gold Cup champion, most recently hoisting the trophy in 2013. Archrivals USA and Mexico have combined to win each of the last eight Gold Cups dating back to 2002, with both sides claiming four championships since the turn of the century.
– Story from Sporting KC