United States Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter released his 23-man squad for this month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Thursday morning, and it features a strong collection of American talent from both domestic and abroad — Orlando City‘s rising star, Daryl Dike.
Orlando’s Chris Mueller and Andres Perea were named to the 60-man provisional roster in late-June, but did not make the cut for the final Gold Cup roster.
The 2021 Gold Cup kicks off with the group stage on July 10. The United States will open their tournament on July 11 against the winner of the preliminary round match 7 (8:30 p.m.), followed by a July 15 contest against Martinique (9:30 p.m.), and finish out the group stage against their neighbors to the north, Canada, on July 18 (6 p.m.). All group stage games will be hosted by Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.
The Gold Cup final will be held in Las Vegas on August 1, meaning the Lions could be looking at another full month without their top striker, should the United States, a traditional tournament favorite, make it that far.
This will be Dike’s first big opportunity on the international stage for the United States after securing his first cap earlier this year in a 7-0 friendly victory over Trinidad and Tobago back in January. He’s been on Berhalter’s radar since bursting onto the scene with Orlando last season, making his MLS debut during the MLS is Back Tournament in July before going on to score eight goals and four assists over 17 appearances (15 starts) in the regular season. That earned him his first call-up to the national team, being brought in for a November friendly against El Salvador — he didn’t play in the match, however, due to an injury he picked up early in the camp.
Following his national team debut in January, Dike quickly shipped off to England, where he joined Barnsley on a short-term loan in the English Championship, the country’s second division. Dike quickly grabbed the attention of everyone back home as well as in England by helping the club surge into the promotion playoffs with nine goals in 19 appearances across all competitions as Barnsley would eventually fall to Fulham in the semi-finals.
The loan agreement with Barnsley included a purchase option for $20 million at the end of the season, which the club declined to pick up.
Fresh off his playoff run for Barnsley, Dike was called into national team camp once again in late May for training camp for the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League Finals but did not make the final squad. He stayed with the United States and scored his first international goal on June 9 in a 4-0 friendly victory over Costa Rica.
Dike finally returned to the field for Orlando City in late June, making a second half appearance for the final 26 minutes in a 3-2 win over Toronto FC. Three days later, Dike made his first start of the season and scored a brace in a 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
USMNT GOLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United; 64/0),Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 1/0)
DEFENDERS (8): George Bello (Atlanta United; 1/0), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 18/1), Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP; 5/0), Donovan Pines (D.C. United; 0/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 3/1), James Sands (New York City FC; 0/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 3/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 14/2)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 31/2), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 24/7), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 20/0), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 12/0)
FORWARDS: (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 35/8), Daryl Dike (Orlando City; 3/1), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 3/2), Matthew Hoppe (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 7/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 56/12)
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