Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, the oldest field player named to the U.S. national team roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup, has been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.
Davis, 33, hasn’t played for the U.S. since the group stage finale against Germany at last summer’s World Cup. His Gold Cup invitation was a surprise, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said that he placed a premium on experience when selecting his team for a tournament he desperately wants to win. Davis missed Houston’s June 20 loss to the Portland Timbers with a bruised right knee then entered as a substitute in last Friday’s defeat at FC Dallas.
Each coach submitted a 35-man preliminary roster to CONCACAF on June 6 and may replace any injured player on the 23-man tournament squad with a member from the preliminary list up to 24 hours before its first match.
The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Tuesday that Atlas defender Greg Garza, who enjoyed a brief spell last fall as Klinsmann’s first-choice left back, was called into camp to prepare for Friday’s friendly against Guatemala in Nashville. U.S. Soccer didn’t indicate that Garza would be Davis’ official replacement on the Gold Cup roster, saying only that it “is in the process of submitting the required paperwork to CONCACAF to allow for a replacement.”
Considering his comfort on the left flank, his seven caps over the past year and a dearth of outside backs on the Gold Cup roster (especially if Fabian Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin are play in midfield), Garza appears to be an easy choice for Davis’ replacement. Garza, 23, joined Atlas this month on loan from Club Tijuana, where he spent the last three and a half years.
The other players eligible to be called up before the opener or at the conclusion of the group stage, when teams can make six more changes, are goalkeeper Bill Hamid; defenders DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Michael Orozco and Brek Shea; midfielders Joe Corona, Perry Kitchen and Lee Nguyen; and forwards Juan Agudelo, Alan Gordon and Jordan Morris. Shea, who also can play either left midfield or left back, has been dealing with a groin injury and reportedly may miss time with Orlando City after exiting last week's win over the Colorado Rapids in the first half.
The U.S. opens the Gold Cup on July 7 against Honduras at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, followed by other Group A matches against Haiti (July 10 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts) and Panama (July 13 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas).