The 2021 Gold Cup officially begins this weekend. The biennial championship of Concacaf boasts a lot of the familiar faces as well as a few newcomers, and as usual features the best teams at something less than their full strength.
That is, again, as usual. What is a touch unusual is just how understrength the US men’s national team happens to be compared to, say, their rivals from Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada. While those three teams are missing key players here and there, US head coach Gregg Berhalter has chosen to go down the depth chart at virtually every single position. You could make a very plausible case that there is not a single first-XI player in this US squad, and I don’t think we’ve seen a Gold Cup roster of that sort from any country in the region since way back in 2009, when then-US head coach Bob Bradley assembled a similarly experimental crew.
The primary goal now . . .