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LAFC’s Aaron Long, a World Cup veteran, and Galaxy teenager Jalen Neal were among 23 players named Monday to the U.S. roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which kicks off June 24 with the U.S., the defending champion, facing Jamaica in Chicago. The tournament final will be played July 16 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Eighteen players on the Gold Cup roster are not on the team that will face Mexico on Thursday in the Nations League semifinals in Las Vegas, meaning interim manager B.J. Callaghan will get a look at 42 players this month.

“We’re trying to expose as many players as possible to tournament competition,” Callaghan said in a statement. “It will be valuable for the group moving forward.”

The Gold Cup roster is slightly older but slightly less experienced than the Nations League team, with an average of three fewer international appearances per player. It also includes seven players, including Long, who were on the team for last year’s World Cup. But it’s primarily a domestic roster as well, with 16 of the 23 players coming from MLS clubs. The Nations League roster has just four MLS players.

At 19, Neal, one of nine Gold Cup invitees who made their senior team this year, is the youngest player on the Gold Cup team. He is also one of 11 players with three or fewer national team caps. Inter Miami defender DeAndre Yedlin, a two-time World Cup veteran, is the most experienced player on the roster with 78 international appearances.

Six dual nationals — Cade Cowell, Julian Gressel, Aidan Morris, Gaga Slonina, Alan Soñora and Brandon Vazquez — will be cap-tied to the U.S. if they appear in a Gold Cup match.

“It’s a roster that has a good mix of veteran players that have World Cup experience and younger players [that] have earned an opportunity to come into camp and represent the United States,” Callaghan said. “Some have a lot of experiences that we continue to build on while others are just starting out.”

The U.S. was drawn into Group A for the Gold Cup. In addition to Jamaica, it will play Nicaragua and whichever country emerges from a four-team playoff involving Curacao, French Guiana, Sint Maarten or St. Kitts and Nevis.

Mexico was drawn into Group B for the 16-team competition and will open June 25 against Honduras and NRG Stadium in Houston. Mexico will also face Qatar and Haiti in group play.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (Toronto FC), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders: DeJuan Jones (New England Revolution), Aaron Long (LAFC), Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati), Jalen Neal (Galaxy), Bryan Reynolds (Roma), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami)

Midfielders: Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Djordjevic Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), James Sands (New York City FC), Alan Soñora (FC Juárez)

Forwards: Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Julian Gressel (Vancouver Whitecaps), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati), Alex Zendejas (Club América)

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Read the full article here

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