The U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Areana has made his final six changes to the 23-player 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster, including a very familiar face for Rapids supporters - Tim Howard.
"It's exciting to be in," Howard said. "Obviously, this tournament means a lot to us. We've had a good first round."
The seasoned veteran flew to Philadelphia on Sunday to join the rest of his teammates ahead of their quarterfinal against El Salvador on Wednesday. Howard's experience, 115 caps to be exact, should bring some confidence to the U.S. squad for the last eight encounter.
"We feel good about ourselves, and the direction in which we're going," Howard said. "We have to go out there and prove it on Wednesday night. That's the first hurdle for us."
Forwards Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, and midfielders Michael Bradley and Darlington Nagbe, also join the roster after participating in last month’s World Cup qualifying match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against Trinidad and Tobago.
In addition to the USMNT vets, newcomer Jesse Gonzalez will join Howard as the two goalkeepers brought in. Earlier this month, Gonzalez was granted his one-time international switch from Mexico to the US, approved by FIFA.
The six players replace goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson, midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Cristian Roldan and Kelyn Rowe, and forward Dom Dwyer.
Coming off of Saturday’s 3-0 win against Nicaragua, the USA finished first in Group B, having collected seven points from three matches (2-0-1).
"We're obviously prepared, and are looking forward to playing El Salvador," said Howard. "We're all excited to win a trophy, so the vibe of the team is good. Everyone is looking forward to the next game."
The match kicks off on Wednesday, July 19 at 7 p.m. MT on FS1, UniMas, and Univision Deportes. Should the U.S. advance, they would face Costa Rica or Panama in the semifinal.
UPDATED USA ROSTER:
Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna, MEX), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)