July 14, 2015
THREE OUT, THREE IN
USA roster changes: Beasley, Corona, Gordon replace Garza, Morales and Altidore
CHICAGO - One of the more intriguing rules of the CONCACAF Gold Cup is that coaches are allowed to make as many as six changes to their respective rosters in the 24 hours following the group stage. And USA national coach Jurgen Klinsman did just that.
Defender DaMarcus Beasley, midfielder Joe Corona and forward Alan Gordon have all been added to the U.S. team and will report to Baltimore in advance of the team's quarterfinal matchup on Saturday (5 p.m. ET on FOX, Univision).
Beasley comes in for Greg Garza, Corona for Alfredo Morales and Gordon for Jozy Altidore.
Altidore is returning from an injury and Klinsmann felt it was best for the former Red Bull to return to Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.
"We believe that Jozyís just not there yet," Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. "Jozy never really got into this tournament and never really picked up the rhythm. Heís just simply not in the shape right now to help us. For Jozy itís just simply going back to Toronto, picking up his rhythm, getting in shape, working on his fitness and then he will start scoring goals again.
"Thatís why Alan Gordon was on the standby roster from the beginning and thatís why we brought him in. Heís fully fit, heís so full of energy, he scores goals with the Galaxy, and he fits in right away. Heís a pure giver to the group, and he might be a player that can make a difference at any second when you bring him in.Ē
Beasley joins the group as the MNT's most experienced roster player, having earned 121 caps. He has been a part of four U.S. World Cup teams and last appeared for the USA in its run in the 2014 competition in Brazil. Beasley returns for his sixth Gold Cup (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013), having already been a part of four Gold Cup title winning teams, including as captain of the 2013 title winning side.
"Having DaMarcus come into the team is huge, because of his character, his giving nature, the spirit he brings, but also the high quality he brings," Klinsmann said. "He brings a lot of experience into this group, and heís hungry. Heís still as hungry as day one in his career. That speaks for us having him back in the group and now it gives us a couple of different options on how to put pieces together."
Gordon, a member of the team that won the 2013 Gold Cup in 2013, will make his 2015 debut for the national team.
Corona also played a big part in the MNT's 2013 Gold Cup title run, scoring twice.
ďThe switch with Alfredo to Joe Corona is a little bit because Alfredo is still on the rise," Klinsmann said. "He is becoming a very strong player. He had a good year with Ingolstadt, he moved up to the first division in Germany, was their player of the season pretty much, but heís still in the process to become a part of our team in the fine tuning element. There are certain things that just donít click yet, and itíll just take a little bit of time. Right now in the tournament, we donít have that time. In the tournament now we need to produce results and get things done. With Joe we have that option to bring him in now. He knows CONCACAF inside out."
The United States finished in first place in the Group A after collecting seven points and going undefeated (2-0-1), improving its all-time record to 30-1-3 in group play.