US forward Josh Sargent dropped from Gold Cup roster
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK — Turns out Josh Sargent won’t play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup or the Under-20 World Cup.
The 19-year-old forward was among seven cuts from the national team roster Thursday, another setback that follows limited playing time during the second half of his Bundesliga season with Werder Bremen.
National team coach Gregg Berhalter decided last month to have Sargent train with the national team rather than with the youth group, which has advanced to the Under-20 quarterfinals in Poland behind Sebastian Soto, Tim Weah and Alex Mendez. Sargent failed to convert any chances in Wednesday’s 1-0 exhibition loss to Jamaica and was among seven cuts Thursday.
“When I talked to him and gave him the news, one thing I mentioned was that he is going to be the striker for the national team in the future. We’re sure of that,” Berhalter said. “He wasn’t able to play as much as he could have. And he lacked a little sharpness.”
Berhalter said midfielder Sebastian Lletget’s hamstring injury caused a roster shift that made it difficult to include Sargent as a third striker Berhalter did not regret the decision not to send Sargent to Poland.
“We thought he would he would benefit from the challenge of the full national team and benefit playing a game, fighting to make the squad,” Berhalter said.
For his first competitive matches as U.S. coach, Berhalter also dropped defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers and Antonee Robinson; Lletget and midfielder Djordje Mihailovic; and forwards Jonathan Amon and Joe Gyau.
Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams are on the 23-man roster after being given permission to report late following their European club seasons. Pulisic was to arrive Thursday and Adams is scheduled to report on Tuesday.
Forward Jozy Altidore was included and could make his first international appearance since the October 2017 loss at Trinidad and Tobago that ended the Americans’ streak of World Cup appearances at seven. Altidore is among just six holdovers from then-coach Bruce Arena’s roster in Trinidad, including four other starters: Pulisic, defenders Omar Gonzalez, midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Paul Arriola. In addition, defender Tim Ream was on the bench.
“We’re looking for these guys to show some of the younger players the way,” Berhalter said. “Failures are part of a player’s career. I think if you if you ever get afraid to fail, you’re in trouble. And it’s about how you pick yourself up and how you respond. And these guys in particular have done a good job so far.”
The U.S. has another exhibition against Venezuela on Sunday at Cincinnati and opens its Gold Cup title defense against Guyana on June 18 at St. Paul, Minnesota. It will be the Americans’ first competitive match in 20 months. They face Trinidad on June 22 at Cleveland and complete group play against Panama on June 26 at Kansas City, Kansas.
The roster averages 25 years, 150 days, and 24 appearances.
Defenders DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks are hurt and missing the tournament, and four players have injury concerns.
Defender Aaron Long has been sidelined since injuring his left hamstring playing while for the New York Red Bulls on May 8, and forward Jordan Morris has been out since hurting his right hamstring during Seattle’s match May 15. Midfielder Weston McKennie missed Wednesday’s match with a sprained left ankle and forward Gyasi Zardes with a bruised left foot.
Zack Steffen, 24, is the No. 1 goalkeeper and 30-year-old Sean Johnson his backup. Hired in December, Berhalter chose not to pick 34-year-old Brad Guzan or Bill Hamid, 28. Ethan Horvath is sidelined by a finger injury.
“It doesn’t mean that these guys will never play for the national team again,” Berhalter said.
Two players on the roster have no previous international experience: No. 3 goalkeeper Tyler Miller and forward Tim Boyd, who was given approval last month by FIFA to switch affiliation to the U.S. from New Zealand.
Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (New York City), Tyler Miller (Los Angeles), Zack Steffen (Columbus).
Defenders: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, Germany), Omar Gonzalez (Atlas, Mexico), Nick Lima (San Jose), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal), Matt Miazga (Chelsea, England), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles).
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Toronto), Duane Holmes (Derby, England), Weston McKennie (Schalke, Germany), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea, England), Cristian Roldan (Seattle), Wil Trapp (Columbus).
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto), Paul Arriola (D.C.), Tyler Boyd (Vitoria Guimares, Portugal), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus).
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.