Not on the 23-man Gold Cup roster, Omar Gonzalez could join the U.S. after the group stages

CARSON, Calif. -- Omar Gonzalez was not on the 23-man U.S. roster for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t play for the U.S. during the continental championship

After being placed on the 35-man provisional roster for the Gold Cup, Gonzalez is eligible to be one of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s four roster changes following the group stage after an agreement was reached between U.S. Soccer and MLS earlier in the year. Klinsmann will have 24 hours following the final group stage match to make changes to his team. The agreement allowed players called up for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in June to be eligible for their club teams during the weekend of May 25 in exchange for availability during the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup.

If Klinsmann does call Gonzalez up after the group stage then the 24-year-old center back believes that he’ll be ready.

“That was always the plan. I know the guys will do great in the group stages and if he decides to call me up then great,” said Gonzalez. “I want to be with the team, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

And based on his comments during Thursday’s teleconference with reporters following the Gold Cup roster announcement, it seems probable that Klinsmann will make changes following the group stage—but it all depends on his squad’s performance.  

“It’s very likely the case. Looking today, but maybe things go extremely well with all 23 now,” said Klinsmann.” No injuries, no issues, it’s down to the 23 players to make their mark and make their case and then we’ll see how we want to switch things around after the group stage.”