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 midfielders who are tasked with making the U.S. national team champions of the CONCACAF region this summer.
Full name: Kyle Robert Beckerman
Hometown: Crofton, Maryland
Position: Central midfield
Caps/goals: 35 caps, 1 goal
Club: Real Salt Lake
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Beckerman’s best performances in the Stars and Stripes came in the 2013 Gold Cup. He played in five of the USA’s six games as they won the tournament and was instrumental in their success. Beckerman’s ability to sweep up in front of the back four and be cool in possession will be needed once again.
Starter or squad player at World Cup? Bradley and Diskerud seem to have the central midfield spots locked down, so it will be a supporting role for Beckerman.
Full name: Alejandro Bedoya
Hometown: Englewood, New Jersey
Caps/goals: 27 caps, 1 goal
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Bedoya is another who shone at the 2013 Gold Cup with his incisive runs and pinpoint delivery causing plenty of problems. Recently, his performance against Switzerland in the 1-1 draw was hugely impressive as he looks at home on the right flank rather than in the middle.
Starter or squad player at World Cup? Klinsmann will find a spot for him in midfield but he may have to do with starting the campaign on the bench.
Full name: Michael Sheehan Bradley
Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey
Position: Central midfielder
Club: Toronto FC
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Crew stadium on February 12, 2009… The USA and Mexico were locked in an intense World Cup qualifying battle, then Bradley made the difference by popping up twice at the end of each half to crush El Tri’s dreams with two goals. He has inspired plenty of U.S. wins since that “dos a cero” victory with his goal against Italy away from home sealing a big win and his recent displays against Holland and Germany helping the U.S. to big wins. He is now the captain and big things are expected this summer.
Starter or squad player at World Cup? First name on the teamsheet. Bradley is the skipper and the heartbeat of the USMNT.
Full name: Mikkel Morgenstar Pålssønn Diskerud
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Club: New York City FC
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Has to be his scissor-kick finish against Germany. Diskerud peeled off the back of the German defense and after a superb clipped ball from Bradley, Mix acrobatically volleyed home to level the scores in Cologne. His goalscoring record has improved drastically for the USMNT in recent months.
Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? Starter. Alongside Bradley in midfield, the center of the pitch seems to be the one area where Klinsmann knows his strongest players.
Full name: Alfredo Morales
Hometown: Berlin, Germany
Position: Central midfielder
Club: FC Ingolstadt 04
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Probably his 67 minutes against Holland in the recent friendly win in Amsterdam. Morales mixed it up in midfield and look assured on the ball when he had it before being replaced by Diskerud late on. Solid outing.
Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? A player who should push for some minutes if the U.S. seal qualification from the group stages early on. Now is the time for Morales to step up.
Full name: DeAndre Roselle Yedlin
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Position: Full back/winger
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: His display in the Round of 16 defeat to Belgium at the 2014 World Cup showed that Yedlin could step up to the big stage. His lung-bursting runs from right back caused the Belgians plenty of problems and he showed maturity beyond his years.
Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? Yedlin looks set to start in a more advanced position at right wing. He is so dangerous as an impact player off the bench, as we saw at the World Cup and against Germany and Holland recently, but perhaps Spurs have asked to see how he performs further up the pitch.
Full name: Graham Jonathan Zusi
Hometown: Longwood, Florida
Club: Sporting Kansas City
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: His purple patch in World Cup qualifiers in October 2013 which not only proved he deserved a starting spot for the USMNT, but also saved Mexico from elimination and got him the nickname “San Zusi” south of the border.
Starter or squad player at Gold Cup? At this point, he may be on the bench. Zusi was subbed out at half time of the final warm-up game vs. Guatemala and his form for club and country has definitely dipped last summer. Another guy who needs a big tournament this summer.