New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long hasn’t seen the field for his club since a late-game injury on May 8th, but that didn’t stop USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter from including Long in the final 23-man Gold Cup squad. Long was named to the roster for the Jamaica friendly as well, but did not dress for the game even though he trained normally with the national team. He is one of 15 MLS players to make up the squad.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) June 6, 2019
Long made his debut with the national team in October and has seen the field in five matches since then, captaining the two January Camp matches. Long is a favorite to start for the national team in most Gold Cup matches due to his form the last 18 months, even further solidified since John Brooks was left off due to injury.
The US will finish their friendly slate facing Venezuela on Sunday June 9th. Their Gold Cup group stage matches will ramp up in difficulty as they progress: opening against Guyana on June 18th in Minnesota, then Trinidad & Tobago on June 22nd in Cleveland and finally Panama on June 26th in KC. Assuming they progress to the knockout round, their quarterfinal match would be on June 30th in Philadelphia, semifinal on July 3rd in Nashville and the final will take place on July 7th in Chicago.
At a minimum, Long will miss RBNY’s US Open Cup match against the New England Revolution on June 11th, then the Round of 16 match the week of June 18th if they progress. He will also most likely miss the Chicago Fire match on June 28th. Depending how far the US goes, he also has the potential to also miss the Houston Dynamo match on July 3rd, Atlanta United on July 7th and a possible USOC quarterfinal match on July 10th.