The U.S. national team will be without two of its top defenders at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup after the release of its preliminary roster revealed that John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin will miss the tournament.
Brooks was left off the 40-man preliminary roster due to the knee injury that forced him out of the final two matches of the Bundesliga season with Wolfsburg, while Yedlin, who recently underwent sports hernia surgery, was also left off the roster.
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter did include some players currently battling injuries, including Aaron Long, Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris. He still has time to finalize the 23-man Gold Cup roster, which will be announced on June 6.
Brooks' absence leaves a big hole in the heart of the USMNT defense – one that could be made even more difficult to fill if Long is unable to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered recently with the New York Red Bulls. Brooks and Long had been see as Berhalter's first-choice central defense heading toward the Gold Cup, but if both players are sidelined, it will force Berhalter to look at other options in Matt Miazga, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Walker Zimmerman and Omar Gonzalez.
The preliminary roster features some surprising names, including midfielder Joe Gyau, defender Andrew Gutman and defender Marlon Fossey.
Josh Sargent and Jonathan Amon, two teenagers who were expected to be in the Gold Cup conversation after being left off the U.S. Under-20 World Cup squad were named to the preliminary roster.
Also making the preliminary roster was Tyler Boyd, whose switch from New Zealand to the USMNT was approved by FIFA last week.
Among the players not included on the preliminary roster are forward Andrew Wooten, defender Ventura Alvarado and forward Andrija Novakovich, who are all coming off impressive club seasons.
Berhalter will announce a training camp roster on Wednesday for the USMNT's upcoming pre-Gold Cup camp. The Americans will play friendlies against Jamaica (June 5) and Venezuela (June 9) before kicking off the Gold Cup on June 18 against Guyana.
Here is the 40-man preliminary USMNT Gold Cup roster:
Goalkeepers: Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath, Sean Johnson, Brad Guzan, Tyler Miller.
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Marlon Fossey, Miles Robinson, Matt Miazga, Reggie Cannon, Greg Garza, Antonee Robinson, Andrew Gutman, Nick Lima, Aaron Long, Daniel Lovitz, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, Walker Zimmerman.
Midfielders: Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Michael Bradley, Wil Trapp, Duane Holmes, Sebastian Lletget, Djordje Mihailovic, Darlington Nagbe, Cristian Roldan.
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Paul Arriola, Corey Baird, Tyler Boyd, Joe Gyau, Gyasi Zardes, Jonathan Lewis, Jordan Morris, Christian Ramirez, Josh Sargent.