CONCACAF announced a provision that allows any team participating in the FIFA Confederations Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the same year to expand its Gold Cup roster from 23 to 30 players. The provision was provided due to the extreme circumstances that teams face due to playing in back-to-back tournaments.
“In light of the consecutive competitions, the Confederations Cup and the Gold Cup, with the objective of providing the best performance possible for the public, and in recognition that the back-to-back tournaments strain players and their clubs, CONCACAF will give permission to any team who also is participating in the Confederations Cup in the same year to enlarge their roster to 30 from the 23 already permitted,” CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer said.
As a result of this provision, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has added seven players to the U.S. roster for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. All seven players were members of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup squad in South Africa last month.
Forwards Jozy Altidore and Conor Casey, midfielders Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan, defender Jonathan Bornstein and goalkeeper Brad Guzan will be eligible for selection during the tournament; however, the U.S. will not have all seven players present for each Gold Cup match. The exact schedule for these players will be announced as it becomes available. Only 18 players will be eligible to dress for any given game.
“Due to our involvement in the Confederations Cup, CONCACAF decided to expand our eligible pool of players for the Gold Cup,” Bradley said. “At times during the tournament, we may integrate these seven players with our core roster that was announced last week.”
The original 23-man roster already carried over four players from the FIFA Confederations Cup squad in Freddy Adu, Charlie Davies, Heath Pearce and Luis Robles. The Gold Cup roster also includes the return of regular starters Steve Cherundolo and Brian Ching from injury. Cherundolo, sidelined after hip surgery, has not appeared since Oct. 11, 2008, against Cuba, and Ching returns after missing the last two FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup with a hamstring strain.