Portland area soccer fans are kind of spoiled when it comes to the sport. Not only do they now have the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns in terms of local teams to support, but both of those teams are extremely well supported. Pretty much the only thing missing from the equation was a national team game every now and then. Well, in less that two weeks time, Portland fans will get that too.
But where Seattle recently hosted a USMNT World Cup Qualifying game with the country's best players, Portland is hosting a Gold Cup game, which doesn't carry nearly the same weight. As such, just who appears on the roster has been a bit of a worry/guessing game. Well, as of yesterday, we officially know who will be heading to Portland, and it's not so bad:
DEFENDERS (8): Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Malaga), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde FK), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres (Tigres)
The first name that should immediately jump out at you is Mix Diskerud. The almost Timbers-man is still a very exciting prospect for the national team. More than that, his call up for the Gold Cup means he is officially tied to the United States. prior to this, he had only played in friendlies and was, therefore still eligible to play for Norway. That is no longer the case.
Landon Donovan should also be fairly exciting for national team fans. While we hate him as a Galaxy, he's pulled off some great feats with the Nats. He was left off the World Cup Qualifying roster as he was still working his way back into full fitness. This Gold Cup is surely a "trial" for him to find his way back into Klinsmann's picture. Also as a bonus, Donovan's Gold Cup inclusion means that he'll miss the July 13th Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy game at Jeld-Wen. That's gonna be great for the Timbers.
Some other names that jump out at me include: Herculez Gomez, Jack McInerney, Stuat Holden, Jose Torres, and Oguchi Onyewu.
What do you think of the USMNT Gold Cup roster?