Concacaf is preparing for the 16th edition of the Gold Cup, in which 25 nations compete against each other for the prestigious trophy.
The tournament will take place in the United States from July 10th to August 1st, and now, nearly three weeks before kick-off, all participating nations have submitted their preliminary lineups.
Major League Soccer players have long been part of the history of this tournament and have influenced every edition. This year, over 100 Major League Soccer players from the 25 participating nations were appointed to the preliminary roster in order to lead their team to success.
There’s a lot of potential on any list, but here are the five MLS players to look out for in the Gold Cup …
Efrain Alvarez plays for Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids / Michael Janosz / ISI Photos / Getty Images
Efrain Alvarez was born in Los Angeles to Mexican parents, which means that he is qualified for both the US men’s national team and the Mexican national team.
In December, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter called the young player to the camp in the hope that he could experience the atmosphere of the team in order to be able to make an informed decision. Months later, Alvarez made his debut with the Mexican national team during a friendly against Costa Rica in March 2021. Since experimenting with both teams, Alvarez has gone with his Latin roots and chosen to represent El Tri in international competitions.
He remains new to the international game, but the young player has proven himself in Major League Soccer. Alvarez has played six of eight games for LA Galaxy so far this season, securing midfield to stay third in the Western Conference table.
Jozy Altidore plays for Toronto FC against Montreal Impact / Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images
Since his argument with Toronto FC head coach Chris Armas, there has been a lot of speculation lately about Jozy Altidore’s future. Since Altidore was substituted off for Orlando City, Altidore has been training off the team with no return date set. While his future in Toronto remains unknown, his involvement in USMNT’s success cannot be overlooked.
He is considered one of the most highly decorated players, scored the third most goals in the history of the US national team at 42 and was part of two World Cup squads in 2010 and 2014.
Although Berhalter led the US team through a regeneration to create a new golden age, Altidore cannot be left behind just yet.
Daryl Dike plays for Orlando City SC against Inter Miami CF / Michael Reaves / Getty Imagesty
After a successful loan with the English championship team Barnsley, Daryl Dike wears purple again with Orlando City.
The young striker flourished in England, scoring nine goals in 21 games that almost inspired promotion to the Premier League. Since his departure, Dike made his debut with the US men’s national team and was happy about the triumph in the Nations League.
As a young player, a lot is expected of Dike but his potential justifies the pressure. His ability to create spaces and dominate on the offensive could be the perfect path for the US to make it to the finals in Las Vegas.
The striker has not yet been recognized by the opponents, which adds a spontaneous element to the USMNT’s attack. Berhalter praised Dike after the Nations League and gave a good sign that the player will find his way into the starting XI.
Alan Pulido plays for Sporting Kansas City against Houston Dynamo FC / Bill Barrett / ISI Photos / Getty Images
Tata Martino recently praised Sporting Kansas City player Alan Pulido for his great start to the 2021 Major League Soccer season.
He has scored five goals and one assist in just eight games so far, and behind teammate Chicharito, Pulido remains in the race for one of the league’s biggest honors – the Golden Shoe.
During a recent press conference, Martino pointed out Pulido’s creative abilities and his intense involvement in the Sporting Kansas FC offensive. While he didn’t meddle too much in Mexico’s Nations League, Pulido was very open to influencing his country in the greatest possible way.
Gianluca Busio plays for Sporting Kansas City against San Jose Earthquakes / Lyndsay Radnedge / ISI Photos / Getty Images
Gianluca Busio has emerged as one of the most exciting players this season. The Sporting Kansas City midfielder has immense potential, and in week 7 of the 2021 MLS season, Busio scored a phenomenal free kick against Houston Dynamo that flattened Marko Maric.
He’s scored another goal since then, but Busio’s biggest contributions are in the midfield. At just 19, both Berhalter and Sporting Kansas City head coach Paulo Nagamura expect a lot from the youngster.