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July 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM

USMNT set for Gold Cup opener vs. Belize (Tuesday links)

US Centennial shield-01-1.jpgThe CONCACAF Gold Cup has been going for two days, but now it’s time for the U.S. to get going.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann‘s squad is in Portland for an 8 p.m. game against Belize, an opponent that actually features an American on the coaching staff. The Sounders will have someone at Jeld-Wen Field to scout the games, same thing obviously for Thursday’s games in Seattle, but the tournament is important for other reasons, too, according to coach Sigi Schmid.

“Gold Cup is important because now the winner of this Gold Cup and the winner of the next Gold Cup play off for the opportunity to play in the next Confederations Cup, so there’s meaning to it,” Schmid said. “It used to be there was only meaning every other competition for the Gold Cup. Even though some of the countries have sent what you might call their ‘B’ team, I think still having success in the Gold Cup is still something that’s important to all the countries of CONCACAF.”

The Sounders duo of Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans were on the preliminary roster for the tournament but are not involved in the group stage. Schmid reminded that Klinsmann made a conscious decision to leave out MLS players who were key contributors last month in World Cup qualifying.

Let’s get to some links:

*     *     *

— First off, D.C. United has been active this morning reportedly selling Alain Rochat to a club in Switzerland and acquiring Luis Silva from Toronto FC for allocation money. Just take a look at the numbers this season and you’ll see why moves were needed.

— Around the league, here are some midseason awards from MLSsoccer.com, Ismail Elfath (who?) will be the referee for Seattle’s home game next week against Colorado, Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon knows his time with the club is coming to an end, and here’s a long piece on all things Real Salt Lake.

— Former Sounders Women standout and USWNT forward Sydney Leroux did this Q&A after posing for The Body Issue for ESPN: The Magazine.

— Here is a roundup of the Gold Cup action from Monday, highlighting MLS involvement.

— The UW men’s soccer team has announced its 2013 schedule.

— Lastly, here is the latest episode of Instant Replay, where there really wasn’t much controversy in the Sounders-Whitecaps game…

| More in Links, USWNT

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