U.S. Soccer announced today that KAA Gent midfielder Kenny Saief will be replaced on the United States Gold Cup roster due to a groin injury. The injury happened during the USMNT 2-1 win over Ghana in an international friendly. Saief’s injury is bad enough that he will be lost for the entire Gold Cup.
Per tournament rules, Bruce Arena is allowed to call in a player due to injury pending CONCACAF approval. Any team is allowed to replace a player with injury up to 24 hours before the first match, and it has to come from the 40 man roster.
This has allowed Arena to call in Philadelphia Union midfielder Chris Pontius to replace Saief. Pontius picked up his first two caps for the USMNT earlier this year against Serbia and Jamaica. He will join the team in Nashville after the Union face Sporting Kansas City on Thursday night.
So far in 17 appearances this season with the Union, the Yorba Linda, California native has collected six assists. Pontius has scored 44 goals and notched 32 assists in 202 appearances in Major League Soccer for the Union and D.C. United.