The international tournaments are coming thick and fast these days, and next up on the docket for the men of North America and the Caribbean is the Gold Cup tournament. The regional championship will take place next month all around the United States (including the LA area), and of the players officially called up, there are three former Goats representing three different countries.
First, the most famous of the bunch is OG goalkeeper Brad Guzan, called up for the U.S. Men's National Team for the defending Gold Cup champions. With Tim Howard still on his so-called sabbatical, Guzan should be the presumptive No. 1 for the tournament, assuming Jurgen Klinsmann doesn't try to stir things up a bit just because and turn to Nick Rimando or William Yarbrough. It could happen, but Guzan still seems like a good bet to start throughout the tournament.
The other former Goats called up to the provisional squad for the Americans, forwards Juan Agudelo and Alan Gordon, did not make the final cut and will only be called up in the event of an injury.
Another former Chivas USA player who will most likely see regular time in the tournament is veteran defender Michael Umana. Now playing, in all places, for Persepolis in Iran, Umaña will likely help anchor the backline for Costa Rica, who most likely fancy themselves better-than-dark-horse candidates to take the title, after their strong 2014 showing in multiple tournaments, including a run to the World Cup quarterfinals.
Besides those two, another one-time Goat, forward Roberto Nurse, continues his action for Panama's national team with a call-up for the Gold Cup. Nurse is still a newcomer to the Panamanian set-up, but expect to see him get at least some minutes for Los Canaleros.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises among the former Goats is a new international, defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who has accepted Haiti's call-up and will suit up for Les Grenadiers...but not for this tournament, apparently, as he was left off the 23-man roster. AJB admitted he may need to work on communicating with his new teammates:
The start of my international career. #AnotherDayToRemember— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) June 23, 2015
My french needs a bit more work lol— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) June 23, 2015
Those tweets seemed to indicate he was headed to the tournament, but maybe's he's taking the long view.
Another former Goat, Gerson Mayen, was left off El Salvador's final roster, so unless there's an injury absence, he won't be taking part, either.
The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup begins July 7 with a doubleheader of Panama vs. Haiti and U.S. vs. Honduras in Frisco, Texas. We'll have more coverage of the tournament as it approaches.
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