USA preliminary Gold Cup roster includes Landon Donovan, first choice defense

Jim Rogash

Landon Donovan could put on the U.S. shirt again in the Gold Cup, a tournament Jurgen Klinsmann may use to get his first choice defenders more time together after nearly all of them were named to the preliminary roster.

Landon Donovan may make his return to the United States this summer after being named to the 35-man provisional roster for the 2013 Gold Cup. The final roster for the tournament will be selected from this group of players and will take on an understrength Mexico and a full strength remainder of CONCACAF in a battle for the off-year, less prestigious confederation championship.

In addition to Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra are in position to make their returns to the national team after being named to the preliminary roster. Both players need to get matches if they want to have a chance of working their way back into the full team after playing sparingly for their clubs in the last year.

Interestingly, Klinsmann has also opted to include a handful of players from his June World Cup qualifying roster on his preliminary Gold Cup roster. Graham Zusi, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans, Joe Corona and Brek Shea may all be on the Gold Cup team, giving them a chance to get matches if they are using sparingly in qualifiers, while Stuart Holden will also stick with the U.S. and get more time.

If this roster is any indication, Klinsmann is unhappy with his defense, or at least think they need more time together because Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Clarence Goodson, Edgar Castillo and DaMarcus Beasley are all on the preliminary roster. Klinsmann may end up using the Gold Cup to get his first choice back line more matches together and time to gel, something they could use after some disorganized performances in the last year.

Unsurprisingly, the Americans are not prioritizing the Gold Cup this summer, but if Jurgen Klinsmann's preliminary roster is any indication, they are taking it more seriously than the U.S. took it in 2009. That year, players like Logan Pause, Colin Clark, Jay Heaps and Davy Arnaud got call-ups. This time around, everyone called in has been around with the national team in the past except for Jack McInerney and Bobby Wood, both of whom are promising young strikers who aren't being handed token caps to make up the numbers.

This Gold Cup has a little more weight than past off-year editions, at least if you value the Confederations Cup. The winner of this year's competition will play the winner of the 2013 Gold Cup for CONCACAF's spot in the 2015 Confederations Cup, which is a nice little boost, unless you don't rate the Confederations Cup and think a CONCACAF championship should be enough.

Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Oguchi Onyewu (Malaga), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg), Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Michael Orozco (Puebla)

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsingborgs), Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Josh Gatt (Molde), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Jose Torres (Tigres)

Forwards: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)

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