U.S. boss Berhalter: Gold Cup spots 'up for grabs'

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- United States manager Gregg Berhalter said that much of his Gold Cup roster is set, but that there are "a few positions up for grabs," ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Jamaica.

The U.S. must submit its final 23-player list to CONCACAF by late Wednesday night, meaning those fringe players will have one more chance to make an impression against the Reggae Boyz at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.

"I think there will be a few positions that are up for grabs, but not many. A lot of the work has been done beforehand, but we will make a few of the decisions based on [Wednesday's] game," Berhalter said during his prematch press conference.

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Berhalter added that against Jamaica he'll use a mix of players who began the camp last week along with those MLS and foreign-based players who arrived over the weekend.

"We had a clear objective of that first camp, it was to focus on a group of players that we knew would be available for the Jamaica game, and we did that. And now as we incorporate the guys that just arrived, some of them will be playing in the game."

The U.S. will be without midfielders Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic, but Berhalter provided a timetable for when the two players will meet up with the national team. Pulisic will join up with the U.S. on June 6, while Adams will arrive five days later.

"With both of those players, we carefully looked at what they've been doing this season, we looked at some of their plans for next season, and where they need to be physically," Berhalter said about Pulisic and Adams. "We gave an arrival time based on that. Both of those dates were determined by our performance staff based on where they need to be based on the work they did this season."

Sebastian Lletget's availability for the Gold Cup is still to be determined after the LA Galaxy midfielder suffered a hamstring strain in last weekend's 2-1 defeat to the New England Revolution. Berhalter said his status would be decided late on Tuesday.

The absence of those three players should open up opportunities for other players to make an impression, as well as give Berhalter a sense of how much depth he has at certain positions.

"I think the good thing about it is you get to see other options, and that's important," he said. " We know that in a tournament format the games come very quick, [one] after another, and we know that there's a lot of travel associated with it, so we know we need other guys to step up, and this gives other guys an opportunity to get fit, to be involved in our system and to play."

After Wednesday's match, the U.S. host Venezuela in Cincinnati on June 9. They begin their Gold Cup campaign on June 18 with group stage matches against Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, and Panama.

"I think it's important to note that [Jamaica] is the opponent we chose as a warmup for the Gold Cup, and exactly for those reasons," Berhalter said. "[Jamaica is] a very talented team, very physical team, poses a lot of threats in offensive transition, has very talented players, is an experienced group. We will face opponents like this in the Gold Cup and it's good for us to get a test."