SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that forward Chris Wondolowski (Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma) was among 23 players selected by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to represent the United States at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Wondolowski was part of the U.S. Gold Cup roster that won the previous tournament in 2013, finishing with a perfect 6-0-0 record. Wondolowski scored five goals, including a first-half hat trick in their opening match against Belize, to tie for the tournament’s Golden Boot. He also made three appearances and one start for the U.S. during their run to the Gold Cup Final in 2011.
The 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 MNT will take the pitch for a final Gold Cup tune-up against Guatemala in Nashville on July 3 in a game that will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network [TICKETS]. Ticket sales for that game have already exceeded 25,000 and it is on track to break the record for attendance at a soccer game in Tennessee.
Four days later, the five-time Gold Cup champions will begin their quest at title defense in the 13th edition of the tournament with the opening round match against Honduras on July 7 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. That game will also be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and UniMás. [GOLD CUP SCHEDULE]
Twelve CONCACAF teams will compete for the Gold Cup trophy: three from North America, five from Central America and four from the Caribbean. The winning team qualifies for a playoff to determine which CONCACAF team participates in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup (a World Cup dress rehearsal which features the champion from each region in the world, the defending World Cup Champion, and the host, which in 2017 will be Russia).
With the Gold Cup win in 2013, the U.S. has already qualified for that playoff. Should the MNT win the Gold Cup this summer, it would earn an automatic bid for the Confederations Cup, which is the ultimate goal for Klinsmann and the team.
“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,” said Klinsmann. “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. It’s an exciting roster, and obviously we have a chance to make some changes after the group stage if necessary. We put all of these things into consideration, and we believe we have a very, very strong group that can win this prestigious tournament.”
The MNT is coming off of road wins against No. 6-ranked Netherlands and reigning World Cup champion Germany, and is riding a four-match unbeaten streak against opponents ranked in the top 20 in the world (3-0-1). The USA is 4-2-1 on the year.
After the Group Stage, teams that qualify for the quarter final round may replace up to six players on the roster.
U.S. Roster By Position (Gold Cup Appearances):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/2007), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake/2011,
2013), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC/2009), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy/2013), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers/2011)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake/2009, 2013), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/2011, 2013), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/2007, 2011), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo/2005), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC/2013), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/2011), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC/2005,
2007, 2011), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes/2011, 2013)