Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are going to the Gold Cup - assuming the United States can avoid defeat against Nicaragua on Saturday.
According to Sportsnet’s John Molinaro, Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney confirmed on Friday that his two American veterans have already departed to join their national team. That means Bruce Arena intends to add them to his roster at the end of the group stage, when each team is allowed to make up to six changes.
Vanney confirms Bradley and Jozy currently with US team and will remain with them until end of team's run at Gold Cup. #TFC— John Molinaro (@JohnMolinaro) July 14, 2017
The USA need a point out of their final Group B fixture against struggling Nicaragua to ensure they reach the quarter-finals.
This is not a surprising development given the Americans have hardly coasted through what looked to be a relatively simple first round. After drawing their first game against Panama, Arena’s team struggled into a 2-0 lead against Martinique before blowing it, with Jordan Morris’ late winner sparing them from embarrassment.
It does make Toronto FC’s next match look a daunting one, however. The Reds visit New York City FC next and will not only be without Bradley and Altidore but also Armando Cooper, Jonathan Osorio, Raheem Edwards, Tosaint Ricketts and Justin Morrow, assuming disaster does not strike over the weekend for Panama and Canada and Morrow does not drop out of the U.S. squad.
NYCFC, on the other hand, will only be missing Sean Johnson, Rodney Wallace and Miguel Camargo - and it is possible Johnson will return after being replaced by a more experienced goalkeeper such as Tim Howard.
In better news, Toronto return home after that for what looks like a fairly forgiving meeting with a Colorado Rapids side that has lost all seven of their road games so far this season.
Vanney will then hope to have Bradley and Altidore back for the rematch with New York City at BMO Field on July 30, though if the USA reach the Gold Cup final on July 26 that could be a tight turnaround.