If you were looking forward to seeing Christian Pulisic light it up in the Gold Cup for the United States, think again. In talking with SI.com, Bruce Arena said that it’s “unlikely” that Christian Pulisic will play in the upcoming summer tournament. Even though he’s on the 40 man preliminary roster, some of it has to do with the timing of the tournament.
“It’s bad timing for [the Gold Cup], because the guys in Europe have gone through this long club season and now the World Cup qualifiers. They need a break. They have three weeks off, and asking them to come in for Gold Cup makes no sense. It would take three weeks to get them ready.”
- USMNT Coach Bruce Arena; Source: Planet Futbol
When he was pressed about how many of the main USMNT roster would be participating in the Gold Cup, this is what he had to say:
“Almost none. Very few. Maybe [Omar] González and [Matt] Besler. Maybe [Clint] Dempsey and [Jozy] Altidore at some point. [Darlington] Nagbe is a possibility.
Keep in mind that after the group stage, teams are allowed roster changes - which is where we may see the likes of Jozy Altidore, Darlington Nagbe, or any of the other regular first teamers. For the most part, this roster for the Gold Cup is going to be made up of a “B” team.
“I have to see in the next couple weeks how everyone is doing. We’re pretty sure [Brad] Guzan is coming in. [Tim] Howard can come in after the group stage. So we’ll have to name at least two other goalkeepers.”
Again, Arena can swap out players after the group stage. That means there’s still a list of goalkeepers that have a shot at making the team. Some of those names listed on the preliminary roster include Bill Hamid, Joe Bendik, and Jesse Gonzalez (depending if he gets his paperwork done for his one time switch from Mexico to the United States). It will be interesting to see how the 23-man Gold Cup roster will be filled over the next couple weeks.