The USMNT will go for a record-tying eighth Gold Cup title from June 20-July 16.
On Monday, June 12, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach B.J. Callaghan named his 23-player roster for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup to be played from June 20 – July 16.
As the USMNT attempts to collect its record-tying eighth Gold Cup trophy, here are his thoughts on the squad.
ussoccer.com: Could you give us your thoughts on the 23-man roster for the Concacaf Gold Cup?
B.J. Callaghan: “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 in the Gold Cup. We're trying to expose as many players as possible to tournament competition. Some have a lot of experiences that we continue to build on, while others are just starting out. In all cases it will be valuable for the group moving forward.
“Many of these players have performed well at their clubs as well as the previous opportunities that they've had when they're in the national team environment. This is a group that we have a lot of confidence in as we look to win another Gold Cup trophy.”
ussoccer.com: Five players are playing through from the Nations League to the Gold Cup. As you built this roster, what was the thought process behind carrying on through the summer with these players?
BJC: “I think continuity and familiarity is an important thing. Also, trying to get as many players that can continue their form is very important. We're a group that really works hard at our culture and our team environment. Continuing with those guys at the Gold Cup is just a way to accelerate that piece when we all get together in Chicago on June 20.”
ussoccer.com: There are 11 players who have previously played in the Gold Cup. Ten have been made into a final and a number of them have lifted the trophy. How important is that tournament experience and what makes a veteran presence so important?
BJC: “It’s the most valuable thing when you're attempting to win another trophy. These players can fall back on experiences. They can also share their experiences with players that haven't gone through it. You can lean on that group's experience to know how help navigate anything that comes up in this type of competition.”
“I think the veteran guys we have here embody what it means to be a U.S. Men’s National Team player. They embody the values that we preach and they practice what we preach, and when you are in a high stress, high stakes, high intensity tournament format, players like that are invaluable. They’re able to model the behavior and the values so that they can continue to teach the younger players how to how to behave and how to perform, and that cohesiveness that they're able to create is what makes winning teams.”
ussoccer.com: One of the challenges in this type of format is playing games in different cities, having to move from a group phase to knockout phase. What's unique about that type of format and how all these players benefit from being a part of it?
BJC: “This format mimics a lot of what you'll see at a World Cup where you're moving into a city for two or three days and moving to the next city. Within that comes lots of challenges. Exposing some of the younger players to this will give them a great experience as they go through furthering their career, trying to make the 2026 World Cup team.
“It'll give them a sense of resilience after they go through it the first time. There will be a sense of familiarity when they navigate the tournament with our more experienced players. That helps give the group a sense of calm in what can feel sometimes like a hectic sprint through the Gold Cup group stage. The experienced players can keep everything focused and understanding that the training and the matches are of the utmost priority.”
ussoccer.com: It's a quick transition from the Nations League to the Gold Cup. The first training session is June 21 and the first game is three days later. How do you think you will approach trying to get this group ready to play and then continue in the tournament?
BJC: “Everything we've built over the last four years helps us and really comes together in a moment like this. At the same time, even the younger players have been in our environment over the last couple of months and know what to expect. As long as we continue to keep things consistent then the expectation is that they will be able to pick up and gel as quickly as possible because they're coming into a familiar environment and know the demands that are going to be placed on them.”
ussoccer.com: You had previously discussed John Brooks and his position in the national team pool. Was he a consideration for this roster?
BJC: “We had a number of good conversations with John. As a starting point, he reiterated his commitment to the National Team program and how much it means to him. He is coming off a season at Hoffenheim where he was a key member of their fight to avoid relegation. This summer he will have the chance to participate in a full preseason with them for the first time, so we felt in this particular moment it’s best for him to take advantage of that opportunity and be performing at his highest level in the upcoming season to position himself to contribute to the national team in the future.”
ussoccer.com: What are you most excited about when you look at this group of players?
BJC: “It's just the diversity of the type of players we have on our roster. The performances that a lot of these guys are having with their clubs or had in their club season gets you really excited about what how high they can perform. There’s just a great mix in the type of players we’re bringing in.”