U.S. Soccer unveiled the official U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup on Thursday, and two Los Angeles Football Club players — goalkeeper Tyler Miller and defender Walker Zimmerman — were included in Gregg Berhalter’s 23-man squad for the tournament.
Miller, 26, is in his second season as a regular starter in MLS, both with LAFC. With the team cutting goals conceded in half compared to the same point last season, Miller has not only been playing well but he hasn’t made any major mistakes, either. As a player with no senior-team call-ups, his inclusion is a bit of a surprise, but he looks set to serve as a backup behind Zack Steffen, who was confirmed during Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Jamaica to be Berhalter’s undisputed No. 1 for the USMNT.
Zimmerman, 26, is also in his second season with LAFC, after playing the first several seasons of his pro career with FC Dallas. Zimmerman has six USMNT caps, with two goals, but has yet to play a competitive game at this level. He did not feature for the U.S. in Wednesday’s friendly against Jamaica, so it’s unclear if Berhalter was giving players a look or if Zimmerman is a deep reserve on the roster.
The official list definitively rules out LAFC forward Christian Ramirez on the Gold Cup roster, as while he was on the provisional roster, he did not make the final cut and will remain with LAFC.
The USMNT are in Group D of the Gold Cup, alongside Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. Their group stage games will be June 18 (vs. Guyana) at Allianz Field in Minnesota, June 22 (against T&T) in Cleveland, and June 26 (vs. Panama) at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. If the U.S. advance to the knockout rounds, as they should, the quarterfinals will take place on June 29 or 30, with the semifinals on July 2-3, and the final on July 7.
So Miller and Zimmerman will definitely miss the U.S. Open Cup game next week against Real Salt Lake, and will almost certainly miss the league game at the Colorado Rapids on June 29. If LAFC win the Open Cup game they’ll have another one the following week. If they reach the Gold Cup final, they would miss two more games — at Sporting KC on July 3 and at home against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 6. This means in particular that backup goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega will be playing, a minimum of one competitive game, but as many as five games in the next month. Time to see what the youngster can do.
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