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Klinsmann adds Gonzalez, Besler, Johnson, Gordon to U.S. squad for Gold Cup knockout rounds

Jul 17, 2013, 11:47 PM EDT

Honduras v United States - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Getty Images

Bruce Arena’s going to love this. With Robbie Keane potentially banged up and Landon Donovan already in U.S. Mens’ National Team camp, Omar Gonzalez — the third of the LA Galaxy’s big three — has been called up for the Gold Cup, one of four changes Jurgen Klinsmann made to his team on Wednesday for the competition’s knockout rounds.

Each of the eigth team teams that advanced past the Gold Cup’s group stage could call up new players to their squad, provided they were on the 35-player preliminary roster previously submitted to CONCACAF. Along with Matt Besler, Alan Gordon, and Eddie Johnson, Gonzalez will join a U.S. team set to face El Salvador in the quarterfinal round.

Corey Ashe, Herculez Gomez, Jack McInerney and Oguchi Onyewu were the four players dropped from the U.S. squad. Neither Ashe nor McInerney saw any action in the tournament, Gomez started against Cuba but failed to make an impact, while Onyewu’s performance in the same match played in big part in Cuba’s only goal.

The most notable part of the call-ins may have been a name that was omitted, with many expected Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi to get the call. Looking at the forwards brought in and considering how Landon Donovan’s performance as a supporting striker, it’s tempting to wonder if the LA Galaxy star will be playing wider in the next round. If that’s Klinsmann’s intention, omitting Zusi makes a more sense.

Fans will be disappointed that McInerney, whose popularity has soared after his hot start to the season, didn’t see a minute of action, but ever since he was omitted from the 18-man roster for the pre-tournament friendly against Guatemala, this move has been in the cards. When asked about McInerney’s lack of playing time, Klinsmann always alluded to the value of merely being in camp while declining to say the Union striker would see action in future. To the degree that he and Ashe (hampered by a thigh injury) impressed in training, it was never enough to get them off the bench.

On the MLS front, both LA and Kansas City will be hurt by the loss of their best defender, though each have enough depth to deal with the short-term setback. Alan Gordon had accumulated a yellow card suspension for San Jose, cushioning his loss, while Obafemi Martins’ return to health leaves him and Lamar Neagle to start up for Seattle top in Eddie Johnson’s absence. Conversely, both Ashe and McInerney will be valuable editions to teams looking to improve their place in the Eastern Conference.

  1. takethelongview - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    I would really have liked to see the chemistry that might develop between Zusi and any combination of the midfielders currently in this group…but I guess that can wait another day.

    If I properly understand MLS rules regarding suspension, Gordon’s call-up will not “cushion” his loss, merely postpone it. I don’t believe the league counts it as “suspension served” if the player gets called into national team camp. That did work for Jermaine Jones (on the one-month plan, no less), but then again he wasn’t playing subject to MLS rules. On the other hand, I may not have the rule right.

    • mlsconvert88888 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      I was wondering about this same thing. It would seem to make sense that the suspension means Gordon just can’t play the Quakes’ next league game, but I could definitely see MLS being a dick about it and saying Gordon needs to be available and still miss the next league game.

  2. the0verheadwire - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    Bummed we didn’t see Jack Mac in the lineup even against Belize.

  3. twayward - Jul 18, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    very important for the relatively new usmnt central defense partnership of matt besler and omar gonzalez to get as many games together as possible before next summer. the fact these next 3 matches (hopefully) will be played with all the pressures of a knockout competition is all the better.

    assuming he continues to impress in mls, the 20-year-old mcinerney has many more usmnt call-ups in his future. not reading too much into his return to philly.

  4. randomhookup - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Looks like Arena got some concession… according to USSF, Omar isn’t coming in until the semis (assuming we make it to that point).

  5. phillyphannn83 - Jul 18, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    JacMac gets a hat-trick in his first game back with the Union…Book it!!

  6. tackledummy1505 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    Like so many past U.S.

  7. tackledummy1505 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    Like so many U.S. managers, they have no faith or trust in young players. I would’ve loved to seen Wondo or Altitore playing next to Jack Mac up top. With the MLS getting better each year and the U.S. getting better talent at such a young age, these managers need to start putting a little more faith in them. Then we American CRT

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