2015 Gold Cup: USMNT player profiles – Defenders

2 Comments

With the 2015 Gold Cup kicking off, it’s time to look at every single player on the USA’s 23-man roster.

[ MORE: Full 2015 Gold Cup coverage ]

Can Jurgen Klinsmann’s side defend the Gold Cup crown they won in 2013 to seal a spot at the 2017 Confederations Cup?

Here are the defenders who are tasked with making the U.S. national team champions of the CONCACAF region this summer.

Full name: Ventura Alvarado
Age: 22
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Position: Central defender
Caps/goals: 6/0
Club: Club America

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Probably his display against Germany in the recent 2-1 friendly win in Cologne. Alvarado looks rough around the edges but against Germany he looked more composed than he had in other USMNT matches. After a shaky start, he and the rest of the U.S. defense improved in that one.

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? Many believe Alvarado is still a bit too “green” to start consistently for the U.S. but with neither Brooks or Gonzalez putting in dominant displays, don’t be surprised to see him start at least one group game at the Gold Cup.

Full name: John Anthony Brooks
Age: 22
Hometown: Berlin, Germany
Position: Central defender
Caps/goals: 13/2
Club: Hertha Berlin

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Does anybody remember Brooks’ late winner against Ghana in the 2014 World Cup group stages? Ah, I thought so. That is by far Brooks’ best moment in a U.S. jersey as he headed home Graham Zusi’s corner late on for the USA’s only victory of the tournament.

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? He seems destined to start the tournament at center back with Omar Gonzalez as Klinsmann continues to persist with the hulking German-born defender. Yes, he wins everything in the air but his distribution and positional sense still needs a lot of work.

Full name: Timothy Chandler
Age: 25
Hometown: Frankfurt, Germany
Position: Right back, left back
Caps/goals: 22/1 
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Scoring a left-footed screamer against Guatemala in the final tune-up for the USA’s 2015 Gold Cup campaign. Chandler has improved steadily after playing in both the USA’s big wins over Holland and Germany.

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? Looks like Timmy will be the starting right back with DeAndre Yedlin ahead of him. Many question his defense ability and carelessness with the ball, but he offers plenty going forward and his speed helps him make up for any mental lapses.

Full name: Brad Evans
Age: 30
Hometown: Phoenix Arizona
Position: Defense/midfield
Caps/goals: 19/1
Club: Seattle Sounders

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Without doubt, his late game-winner from right back in a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica in Kingston. To date that is Evans’ only goal for the U.S. and it silenced the raucous crowd at “The Office” after Jamaica had the U.S. on the ropes late on. Huge moment.

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? A utility player who is extremely useful to have in this squad, Evans will slot in where needed if injuries or suspensions crop up.

Full name: Greg Garza
Age: 23
Hometown: Grapevine, Texas
Position: Right back/left back
Caps/goals: 8/0
Club: Atlas

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Garza looked the real deal for the U.S. in their friendly against Colombia in London back in November, 2014. Since then, after a few shaky displays and injury, he has fallen down the pecking order at full back.

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? He was a late call-up to this squad due to Brad Davis’ injury, but he could get some minutes to help close out tight games late on.

source: AP
Gonzalez looks set to start at CB this summer.

Full name: Omar Gonzalez
Age: 26
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Position: Central defender
Caps/goals: 26/0
Club: LA Galaxy

Best moment in a US shirt: Like many of the defensive players, a performance that stands out is the 0-0 draw with Mexico at Azteca in August, 2014. Gonzalez was one of the best U.S. player on the pitch. The dual citizen of the USA and Mexico has stepped up time and time again versus El Tri.

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup: He will likely start at center back with John Brooks. However, his U.S. career can be described as somewhat of a rollercoaster. After blowing hot-and-cold for the USMNT, this tournament is huge for Gonzalez.

Full name: Fabian Marco Johnson
Age: 27
Hometown: Munich, Germany
Position:  Full back/winger
Caps/goals: 33/1
Club: Borussia Monchengladbach

Best moment in a US shirt: Johnson’s only goal for the U.S. so far was a belter. He played a great one-two with Michael Bradley before drilling home to put the U.S. ahead against Turkey during their sendoff series win before the 2014 World Cup. Majestic goal and his tireless running from deep-lying areas has continued ever-since.

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? Looks to be the nailed on start at left back, but could be moved further forward if Klinsmann decides to give Tim Ream, Timmy Chandler or Brad Evans a go in that position.

Full name: Timothy Michael Ream
Age: 27
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Position: Central defender
Caps/goals: 13/0
Club: Bolton Wanderers

Best moment in a US shirt: 

Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? Looks like Ream won’t be given a starting role at the Gold Cup but his versatility is huge for Klinsmann as he’s played at center back, left back and in the holding midfield role during his time in MLS and with Bolton in England. Expect Ream to get some minutes somewhere along the line.