Former Virginia soccer player Henry Kessler will join the US Men’s National Team for the upcoming 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Kessler was called up to the 23-man roster after fellow defender Walker Zimmerman had to withdraw due to an injury sustained in the United States’ 1-0 victory over Canada in the group stage. The roster move was allowed since Kessler was on the 60-man provisional roster, and the change was outside 24 hours before the team’s quarterfinal game.
CONFIRMED: @Concacaf has approved the request for @HenryKessler4 to replace Walker Zimmerman on the #USMNT @GoldCup roster.— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) July 25, 2021
He will wear the No. 24 shirt for the tournament. #GoldCup21 | #USAvJAM pic.twitter.com/BcHNozvbWe
The United States won Group B, defeating Canada, Martinique, and Haiti. Fellow Virginia teammate Daryl Dike was electric in the 6-1 win over Martinique, scoring two goals and scoring another that was later credited as an own goal.
Kessler played with the Cavaliers from 2017-2019, helping Virginia reach the 2019 NCAA title game. He was drafted No. 6 overall by the New England Revolution in the MLS Draft, and he has been a mainstay on their defense. Kessler has appeared in 34 games with the Revolution, scoring one goal.
The Gold Cup continues Sunday night (July 25) as the USA takes on Jamaica in the quarterfinals. Kickoff is scheduled for 10pm, and the game will be televised on FS1. This is the fourth straight Gold Cup where the US will face Jamaica in the Knockout Round. The two squads definitely have some recent history as Jamaica got the upper hand in the semifinals in 2015, but the United States returned the favor with a win in the 2017 title game.
In other quarterfinal action, Qatar and Mexico picked up victories yesterday, while Costa Rica and Canada play Sunday night at 7pm.