Cristian Roldan was named to the United States’ 23-man Concacaf Gold Cup roster on Thursday. Although Roldan was called up to the national team during January camp earlier this year, it marks the first time since 2019 that Roldan has been called in for competitive matches.
Despite Roldan’s somewhat tenuous place in the national team, he will be among the most-capped players on the roster. Roldan’s 20 caps are the fifth most, as the roster features 12 players who have yet to make an appearance for the USMNT. Roldan is also one of six players on the roster to have previously won a Gold Cup. Roldan played in 4 of 6 matches in the 2019 tournament, making one start.
Training camp is scheduled to open on July 6, meaning that Roldan will miss the Sounders’ match against the Houston Dynamo on July 7. If Roldan remains with the USMNT throughout the tournament and they advance to the final, he could miss as many as six matches.
Roldan has so far started all 11 of the Sounders’ matches, mostly deployed as a No. 10 but more recently playing almost as a third forward in the wide channels. The Sounders are likely to change up their tactics even if they don’t change formations, rather than try to replace Roldan like-for-like. One possibility would be using Fredy Montero as a withdrawn forward/No. 10 in either a 3-4-3 or 4-2-3-1. We’ll probably also see João Paulo in the No. 10 with Danny Leyva and Josh Atencio deployed as the deeper midfielders.
Regardless of what the Sounders do, their already stretched roster is likely to be tested even more as Alex Roldan is also expected to miss at least a few games after getting called into El Salvador.
USMNT GOLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
DEFENDERS (8): George Bello (Atlanta United; 1/0), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 18/1), Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP; 5/0), Donovan Pines (D.C. United; 0/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 3/1), James Sands (New York City FC; 0/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 3/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 14/2)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 31/2), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 24/7), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 20/0), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 12/0)
FORWARDS: (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 35/8), Daryl Dike (Orlando City; 3/1), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 3/2), Matthew Hoppe (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 7/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 56/12)