Dwyer, Saief earn the call

The play­ers, re­cently el­i­gi­ble to play for U.S., are named to ros­ter for Gold Cup.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Cur­tis Zupke sports@la­times.com

Re­cent U.S.-el­i­gi­ble play­ers Dom Dwyer and Kenny Saief were among those named Sun­day to the 23man ros­ter for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Dwyer be­came a U.S. cit­i­zen in March and Saief had his change of his al­le­giance from Is­rael to the U.S. granted last week. They join Cris­tian Roldan and Ke­lyn Rowe as play­ers who re­ceived their first na­tional team call-up. The Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes was also named to the team coached by Bruce Arena.

The Eng­land-born Dwyer said in the pre­sea­son that he looked for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent the U.S. He is mar­ried to U.S. women’s na­tional player Syd­ney Ler­oux.

“I’ve been here about nine years now,” Dwyer said. “So it’s al­most like my sec­ond home now, if not my home. I love this coun­try and it’s given a lot to me. So if I ever get the op­por­tu­nity to give some­thing back to it, I think that’s some­thing I’d al­ways jump at.”

The tour­na­ment is known as a stage for play­ers to prove wor­thy of in­clu­sion in the World Cup, to be held next year in Rus­sia. DaMar­cus Beasley, Pablo Mas­troeni, Clint Dempsey, Jimmy Con­rad and Matt Besler are among past play­ers to have turned the Gold Cup into a World Cup ap­pear­ance.

Arena had said the ros­ter would largely be sec­ond-tier play­ers. Six­teen are from MLS, and 12 have World Cup qual­i­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s a good ros­ter with a nice blend of ex­pe­ri­enced, vet­eran play­ers and a good group of new­com­ers as well,” Arena said in a re­lease. “There’s good bal­ance at every po­si­tion.”

The goalies are Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson. Jesse Gon­za­lez was named to the 40-man pre­lim­i­nary ros­ter but was not in­cluded. Gon­za­lez is el­i­gi­ble to play for the U.S. and Mex­ico but his pa­per­work is await­ing ap­proval.

The U.S. will play Ghana in a tour­na­ment tuneup on Satur­day in East Hart­ford, Conn., be­fore open­ing the Gold Cup on July 8 against Panama in Nashville.

Jamie Squire Getty Im­ages

DOM DWYER, who plays for Sport­ing Kansas City, was among play­ers cho­sen to the 23-man U.S. ros­ter.

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