San Jose Earthquake striker Chris Wondolowski was among 12 MLS players selected to the The U.S. Men’s National Team’s 23-man Gold Cup roster announced Wednesday.
Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a press release:
“Our approach for putting together the roster for this summer’s Gold Cup, which is very, very important to us, is obviously to do everything possible to win this competition. Winning it would qualify us for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, so putting the pieces together is very crucial.”
“That’s why we came out with a roster full of quality, but also a lot of experience; players that are used to playing in the CONCACAF region and also younger players that came through the ranks over the last year that made a stamp on the senior National Team program.”
Wondolowski was one of the key players for the United States during their last go-around at the 2013 Gold Cup, scoring five goals to tie for the tournament’s Golden Boot award and help the U.S. win the tournament going 6-0-0.
This roster includes 17 players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. Ten players from this group have been a part of USA teams that have won a Gold Cup in the past, including six from the squad that won in 2013. In total, this U.S. team averages 30.5 international caps.
The U.S. will play their final tune-up game against Guatemala in Nashville on July 3, then begin their title defense in an opening round match against Honduras on July 7 in Frisco, Texas.
This is Wondolowski’s third consecutive call-up to the Gold Cup squad, and will be his first major tournament since last summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
The call-up puts the Earthquakes in a precarious position however, who will be searching for options at striker with Steven Lenhart and Innocent still sidelined with long-term injuries. Tommy Thompson, fresh off his own appearance in the U-20 World Cup, may have his first chance to see regular playing time with an opening in the starting XI.