NUMBERS GAME: Veteran U.S. MNT Roster Additions Forced to Pick New Numbers at Gold Cup

With the arrival of six new players for the Gold Cup Knockout Round, there’s a bit of a (jersey) numbers game going on in U.S. Men’s National Team camp.

Four of the six players that met up with the squad have long-established digits with the U.S. MNT: captain Michael Bradley wears No. 4, Tim Howard is No. 1, Clint Dempsey dons No. 8 and Jozy Altidore is known as USA’s No. 17.

Clint Dempsey went through a spell wearing No. 10 for the U.S. MNT

BUT, when players join after the tournament’s Group Stage, they’re not simply able to come in and wear their regular numbers, nor are can they take the numbers of those they’re replacing. Instead, tournament regulations state that the new additions must wear numbers 24-29.

So for the remainder of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, some of the USA’s most veteran players will be suiting up in some less conventional jersey numbers. Here’s what the six additions will be wearing:

2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Numbers


Tim Howard


Darlington Nagbe


Michael Bradley


Jozy Altidore


Clint Dempsey


Jesse Gonzalez

Interestingly, Dempsey’s Seattle Sounders FC teammate Jordan Morris was assigned the No. 8 shirt for the tournament. In typical slick Deuce fashion, he has combined his club number (2) with his National Team designation to wind up with #28.

Bradley is using some arithmetic with his #26. The math: 6-2 = still makes the captain #4 at heart.

Michael Bradley
Now known as the U.S. MNT No. 4 Michael Bradley wore No. 24 in his U.S. MNT debut on May 26, 2006 vs. Venezuela

Jozy Altidore also borrows from his normal routine and gets 27 instead of 17.

Since taking a year off following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Howard has actually shifted some between the No. 1 and No. 12 shirt, but the switch to No. 24 isn’t entirely different for him. The veteran goalkeeper was given the number when he joined English Premier League club Everton in 2006, and though he had the opportunity to change after his first season on Merseyside, he  elected to stay with it throughout his tenure at Goodison Park.

Here is the last time each of the four veteran additions didn’t wear their normal numbers for the U.S. MNT:



What They Wore Instead

Jozy Altidore

Feb. 29, 2012 vs. Italy


Michael Bradley

Feb. 29, 2012 vs. Italy


Clint Dempsey

Feb. 29, 2012 vs. Italy


Tim Howard

Sept. 6, 2016 vs. Trinidad & Tobago