DaMarcus Beasley highlights three new selections for the United States heading into this weekend's Gold Cup quarterfinal. Beasley will join midfielder Joe Corona and forward Alan Gordon as replacements for the out-of-fitness Jozy Altidore, Greg Garza, and Alfredo Morales. Teams are allowed up to 6 roster alterations between the group stage and knockout rounds, so long as replacements are brought in from the original 35-man provisional roster.
The move was expected as Klinsmann and Beasley had previous discussions about the long-time left back emerging from his International retirement to play at some point during the tournament. Perhaps more surprising was the exclusion of Jozy Altidore, the US forward who struggled to find his form throughout the group stage following a hamstring injury.
As Klinsmann told Goal.com:
"We believe that Jozy’s just not there yet," Klinsmann said of the decision to drop Altidore. "Jozy never really got into this tournament and never really picked up the rhythm. He’s just simply not in the shape right now to help us. For Jozy it’s 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.
Beasley's inclusion means that he will miss Saturday's match at Real Salt Lake, as well as potentially matches against Sporting Kansas City and LA Galaxy - depending on how far the United States advance. Saturday marks the first match of the season that DaMarcus Beasley will not participate.
This will be Beasley's fifth Gold Cup and comes seven months after he announced his retirement from the national team. Clearly still able to contribute competitively (Beasley was announced as an All-Star selection Monday night), he will be of particular importance along a United States back line that has struggled throughout the group stage. His experience will also be a key role to Klinsmann, who is determined to win back-to-back Gold Cups and advance to the 2017 Confederations Cup.
The United States play the third place finisher of Group B or C (depending on future results) on Saturday, July 18th in Baltimore, Maryland. Dynamo Theory will continue to provide Gold Cup updates as they become available.