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May 29, 2011

2011 USMNT Gold Cup Roster release

US Gold Cup Roster (released Monday, May 23)

GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Nick Rimando

DEFENDERS: Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream, Jonathan Bornstein,

MIDFIELDERS: Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Sacha Kljestan, Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu, Benny Feilhaber, Jermaine Jones

FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Chris Wondolowski 

Some of the most notable exceptions are at right back with Timothy Chandler's absence, who will be easily replaced by the veteran Steve Cherundolo. Omar Gonzalez was excluded, but Bradley can only afford to have two lumbering center backs on the roster (Onyewu and Goodson). 

The center midfield will be difficult for others to break down, with a expected core of Bradley, Edu, and Jones. Two old-but-not-aged faces make the roster in Adu and Rogers, which mixes up the normal mix of attack-minded midfielders. 

Chris Wondolowski lit up MLS last season with 19 goals, and has been rewarded with a fine beginning to his season with a call-up. His inclusion all but ensures that Altidore and Agudelo will start together, and hints that we could see Donovan or Dempsey seeing some time up top as well. 

I would have like to see Bunbury make this roster, and surely Charlie Davies was looked at heavily but is still considered to not be at his previous high level of play.

Brad Guzan is getting married this summer, apparently, which allows Nicky Rimando to step in to camp. While Guzan is the better player at this stage of his career, but Rimando is definitely a positive influence in the locker-room.

See detailed roster here.

The U.S opens on June 7 in Detroit vs Canada, then moves to Tampa to face Panama on June 11, and closes out the group stage against Guadeloupe on June 14 in Kansas City. 

The Quarterfinals will be on June 18 & 19, Semis on June 22, and the Final is June 25 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Here's the proof.

CONCACAF has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and this tournament will provide evidence to that fact. The U.S. has a strong team, with a only a couple of holes (left back), but could struggle against an up-and-coming team like Canada. 

If the U.S. makes the Final, a game against Mexico (lead by the offensive trio of Vela, dos Santos, and Chicharito) in Los Angeles will be a grudge match.

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