D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen was among 23 players named to the U.S. national team roster for the Gold Cup, a 12-team international tournament that will run July 6-24 in six U.S. cities.
Teammates Clyde Simms and Freddy Adu also had been considered. Olsen, who has made 22 international appearances since 1998 but none this year, will report to U.S. camp in Portland, Ore., this weekend and might end up missing six MLS games.
The U.S. squad will play first-round matches July 7 against Cuba and July 9 vs. Canada, both in Seattle, before facing Costa Rica on July 12 in Foxboro, Mass. If the Americans advance, they would play a quarterfinal in Foxboro. The semifinals and final will take place at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The United States and Mexico are the favorites, but Colombia and South Africa could pose challenges.
Coach Bruce Arena called up several regulars, including goalkeeper Kasey Keller, defender Eddie Pope, midfielders Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, and forward Eddie Johnson. But he also afforded opportunities to, among others, Olsen, defender Oguchi Onyewu (Olney), New England goalie Matt Reis and midfielder John O'Brien, a 2002 World Cup veteran who's been recovering from long-term injuries.
There are 16 MLS players and seven Europe-based players on the roster.
Meantime, United has tentatively agreed to participate in the Copa Sudamericana, a Latin American tournament, this fall. Dates and an opponent are in the process of being finalized.
-- Steven Goff