Hershey native Christian Pulisic is the headline name on the U.S. men’s soccer team’s 40-player provisional roster for this summer’s Gold Cup, from which head coach Gregg Berhalter will pick the 23 players for the tournament squad.
Pulisic just wrapped up his final season with Borussia Dortmund before heading to English superpower Chelsea in a $73 million transfer, the most expensive in American soccer history. After suffering a torn thigh muscle in a U.S. friendly in March, Pulisic closed out the Bundesliga campaign with goals in two of his last three games and an assist in the finale.
- Seattle Sounders’ Cristian Roldan will get to know Philadelphia well: first against the Union, then likely with the USMNT
- Union’s Marco Fabián called up to Mexico national team ahead of Gold Cup, but what that means is unclear
- Concacaf Gold Cup 2019 schedule: USMNT to face Trinidad & Tobago, Panama and Guyana
Fellow American Bundesliga stars Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig) and Weston McKennie (Schalke 04) are also on the provisional list, a sign that Berhalter is loading up to win his first big event at the helm.
While no one from the Union made the cut, four players with Philadelphia-area roots did: Pulisic, Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen (Coatesville/Downingtown West H.S.), Los Angeles FC goalkeeper Tyler Miller (Woodbury, N.J./Bishop Eustace), and Montreal Impact left back Daniel Lovitz (Wyndmoor/Germantown Academy).
Steffen is heading to Manchester City this summer for a transfer fee that will reportedly land between $7.5 million and $10 million.
The four have an opportunity for a homecoming on June 30, when Lincoln Financial Field hosts what should be the U.S.' quarterfinal.
Berhalter also has his eye on some intriguing young prospects. Winger Tyler Boyd might be at the top of the list, after the 24-year-old changed his FIFA registration from New Zealand to the United States over the weekend.
FC Dallas right back Reggie Cannon (20), Atlanta United centerback Miles Robinson (22) and Chicago Fire playmaker Djordje Mihailovic (20) are rising stars in MLS. Fulham centerback Marlon Fossey (20) and Derby County midfielder Duane Holmes (24) are making their way in England. Winger Jonathan Amon (20) has been turning heads for a while in Denmark.
If Holmes gets called into the U.S. team’s pretournament training camp, he won’t come until after his club’s final game of the season: the English second-division promotion playoff. Derby County will face Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium next Monday, with the winner going up to the Premier League. It’s known as the richest game in global soccer, because the winner earns nearly $200 million in revenue from the Premier League’s worldwide TV deals.
Other notable inclusions are forward Joe Gyau, a much-hyped prospect a few years ago who was hobbled by multiple injuries; and centerback Andrew Gutman, who spurned a homegrown contract offer from the Chicago Fire to join Scotland’s Celtic, then was loaned back Stateside to the USL’s Charlotte Independence.
There are two big absences because of injuries: Right back DeAndre Yedlin had groin surgery earlier this month, and centerback John Brooks has been dealing with a knee ligament issue. The top omission might be forward Andrew Wooten, who scored 17 goals for German second-division team SV Sandhausen this season and was thought to be on the radar. D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, one of MLS’ top netminders, also did not make the cut.
The U.S. will play Guyana (June 18 in St. Paul, Minn.), Trinidad & Tobago (June 22 in Cleveland) and Panama (June 26 in Kansas City) in the group stage. Before the tournament, there will be warmup games against Jamaica (June 5 in Washington) and Venezuela (June 9 in Cincinnati).
Four Union players made other nations’ provisional rosters: goalkeeper Andre Blake (Jamaica), midfielders Marco Fabián (Mexico) and Warren Creavalle (Guyana), and defender Jamoi Topey (Jamaica), a 19-year-old on Bethlehem Steel’s squad. Mexico named the 29 players it picked for its pretournament training camp, instead of a full 40-man list.
Cory Burke was notably not included on Jamaica’s roster. It’s unclear whether the U.S. visa issue that forced Burke to leave Philadelphia for three months is a factor. The Reggae Boyz’ list of forwards includes Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey and former Manchester United prospect Ravel Morrison. Both players could also play for England because of ancestry — Morrison has played for England youth teams — and neither has suited up for Jamaica’s senior team before. But it looks as if they are now considering it.
Jamaica’s group is also tracked toward the quarterfinal at the Linc.
Concacaf will announce the tournament’s final rosters in the first week of June, if the respective federations don’t do it first, of course (and some will). At that point, teams will be able to replace players only because of injuries, and those replacements must come from their 40-man lists.
Goalkeepers (5): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge, Belgium), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Tyler Miller (Los Angeles FC), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew/Manchester City, England)
Defenders (15): Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, Germany), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur, England) Marlon Fossey (Fulham, England), Greg Garza (FC Cincinnati), Omar Gonzalez (Club Atlas, Mexico), Andrew Gutman (Charlotte Independence on loan from Celtic, Scotland), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Matt Miazga (Reading, England on loan from Chelsea), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Antonee Robinson (Wigan, England on loan from Everton), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmermann (Los Angeles FC)
Midfielders (9): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Duane Holmes (Derby County, England), Sebastian Lletget (Los Angeles Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke 04, Germany), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea, England), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)