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Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen omitted from the USMNT's Gold Cup roster

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D.C. United's two star players deserve to be higher up the USMNT depth chart, but Jurgen Klinsmann apparently disagrees.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The United States released its 2015 Gold Cup roster today, and D.C. United duo Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen are not on it. Despite both players having strong seasons for the Supporters Shield leaders, USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann has gone in a different direction with his roster for CONCACAF's showcase tournament.

Hamid's exclusion is somehow both hard to explain and yet only a mild surprise. The 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year has smoothed out the rough edges in his game over the past year and a half, and at this point it seems clear that his spectacular athleticism, sharp reflexes, reading of the game, and speed off his line place him among the top three American goalkeepers (particularly with Tim Howard taking a one-year sabbatical). Klinsmann has chosen Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, and William Yarbrough instead; while the first two make perfect sense, Yarbrough's play for Club Leon reminds one of an average MLS goalkeeper. His current level isn't as high as Hamid's, his ceiling isn't as high as Hamid's, and he's not as consistent as Hamid.

Nonetheless, it's not a decision that comes out of the blue. Despite abundant evidence that several MLS goalkeepers that would make more sense, Klinsmann's rosters have indicates that he rates Yarbrough more highly than a sizable majority of American soccer observers. Deploying him in the Gold Cup would also cap-tie the Mexican-born Yarbrough to the US program, so there is at least one pragmatic reason for calling him in.

Kitchen's exclusion is at least at a position full of potential candidates. Kyle Beckerman is the presumptive starter on this roster, while Alfredo Morales will back him up. Beckerman showed in last summer's World Cup that he is a top-notch #6, while Morales was a starter for FC Ingolstadt in their run to promotion to the German top flight this year. Still, on the national team Morales has often played left of center; in Kitchen's 2 caps he has appeared to be a much more natural option for replacing Beckerman.

While this is bad news for both players, for United it has to be considered a saving grace. With MLS aggressively front-loading United's schedule, the Black-and-Red is one game into a punishing stretch of 5 games in 13 days. Every healthy player is going to be relied on by Ben Olsen right now, and it would not be a surprise if these two played the most minutes during the next two weeks.

Klinsmann is also allowed to replace six players on the current roster after the group stage. It's an admittedly strange CONCACAF rule - hence the preliminary rosters released nearly two weeks ago - but it could be that certain MLS clubs have asked the USMNT to hold off on calling up their players due to fixture congestion. United has just one game between July 4th and July 26th, which is when the tournament will be taking place. It could well be that Hamid and Kitchen will join the US for the more difficult knockout games. However, Klinsmann's unpredictable call-ups make banking on anything like this seem problematic.

Here is the complete 23 man group stage roster.