Sports

CONCACAF GOLD CUP

US soccer team adds experience for knockout phase

Nicaragua's Daniel Candena (9) is tripped by United States' Kelyn Rowe (6) during a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match in Cleveland, Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press
Kelyn Rowe (right), who scored for the US in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Nicaragua, was cut from theroster Sunday.

CLEVELAND — Forward Clint Dempsey, midfielder Michael Bradley, and goalkeeper Tim Howard are among six additions to the United States roster for the knockout phase of the CONCACAF Gold Cup as coach Bruce Arena opted to add some of his most experienced players.

Arena also added forward Jozy Altidore, midfielder Darlington Nagbe, and goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, the US Soccer Federation said Sunday. Gonzalez’s application to change affiliation from Mexico to the US was approved by FIFA last month, after the deadline for setting the 23-man roster for the group phase.

Goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson were dropped along with midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Cristian Roldan, and the Revolution’s Kelyn Rowe, and forward Dom Dwyer. Arena had planned in advance of the tournament to replace Guzan, Johnson, and Bedoya. The Revolution’s Juan Agudelo remained with the team.

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Bedoya is expecting the birth of his second child next week.

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The US plays its quarterfinal Wednesday in Philadelphia against a third-place team from another group, likely Honduras, El Salvador, or Jamaica.

Using a mostly junior varsity group, the Americans opened with a 1-1 tie against Panama and wasted a two-goal lead against Martinique before winning, 3-2. The US defeated Nicaragua, 3-0, Saturday night, getting an 88th-minute goal from Matt Miazga to win Group B by edging Panama based on total goals. Rowe also scored for the Americans.

Bedoya assisted on all three goals.

Panama’s 3-0 win over Martinique in the first match of the doubleheader meant the US needed a three-goal win to move back over Los Canaleros into first. The Americans struggled for long stretches against Nicaragua, a team ranked 105th by FIFA.

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‘‘When you play so many less-experienced and younger players together, it’s difficult,’’ Arena said in a video interview released by the USSF. ‘‘They came through with passing grades, all of them.’’

Each team is allowed to make up to six changes in the 24 hours after finishing the group stage, and the additions must come from the 40-man preliminary roster submitted in early June.

‘‘The players we bring in now give us a little bit more experience,’’ Arena said. ‘‘Group play was an opportunity for a lot of players to get a chance. We were fortunate to start 22 players in group play, which is kind of remarkable. Dom and Cristian and Kelyn did very well for us, and I told them that, and they’re players we’re obviously going to continue to keep an eye on and continue obviously to have them in the program.’’

Dempsey has 56 international goals, one shy of Landon Donovan’s American record.

Dempsey, Bradley, Howard, and Altidore are regular starters when the full national team player pool is called in, and Nagbe appeared in the first seven US matches this year after Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann for his second stint as coach. The US is 6-0-5 since Arena returned.

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The revised roster:

Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez (Dallas), Bill Hamid (D.C.), Tim Howard (Colorado)

Defenders: Matt Besler (Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca, Mexico), Matt Hedges (Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, England), Matt Miazga (Chelsea, England), Justin Morrow (Toronto), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna, Mexico), Graham Zusi (Kansas City)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Dallas), Paul Arriola (Tijuana, Mexico), Michael Bradley (Toronto), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Dax McCarty (Chicago), Darlington Nagbe (Portland), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia), Gyasi Zardes (LA)

Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New England), Jozy Altidore (Toronto), Clint Dempsey (Seattle), Jordan Morris (Seattle)