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Clint Dempsey replaces Cristian Roldan on Gold Cup roster

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Jordan Morris will remain with USMNT.

Soccer: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup-USA at Martinique Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it certainly could have been worse. That’s probably the brightest spin the Seattle Sounders could put on Bruce Arena’s roster decisions for the knockout stages of the Gold Cup.

As had been previously reported, Clint Dempsey was called up along with Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, Darlington Nagbe and Jesse Gonzalez. Cristian Roldan, as most probably expected, was one of the six players who were sent back to their clubs. Jordan Morris, though, will remain with the USMNT, as Dom Dwyer was elected to be the forward chosen to return. Kelyn Rowe — arguably the most consistent USMNT attacker during the group stage — Alejandro Bedoya, Sean Johnson and Brad Guzan also were removed from the Gold Cup roster.

Roldan made one appearance in the group stage, playing 90 minutes in a 3-2 win over Martinique. Morris only started one match, but had played in all three, scoring a pair of goals and generally looking much more like the player who won MLS Rookie of the Year in 2016 than the one who has struggled much of this season.

Roldan’s return will surely come as quite a relief, as the Sounders will also likely be missing Osvaldo Alonso (knee) and Chad Marshall (ankle). It’s also possible that Jordy Delem will be back, adding another much-needed body to the roster. Delem’s Martinique will be eliminated from the Gold Cup if El Salvador does no worse than a one-goal loss (or a two-goal loss in which they fail to score more than once) in Sunday’s group-stage match against Jamaica.

If the USMNT qualifies for the July 26 final in Santa Clara, Morris and Dempsey would miss at least two league matches. The Sounders also have a match on July 29.