Pontius replaces injured Saief on USA's Gold Cup roster

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The Philadelphia Union midfielder has stepped in for the Gent winger, who has been sidelined with a groin injury

Philadelphia Union midfielder Chris Pontius has replaced the injured Kenny Saief on the U.S. national team's Gold Cup squad, U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday.

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Saief made his U.S. debut in a 2-1 friendly win over Ghana on Saturday but will now miss the tournament because of a groin injury. The 23-year-old Gent midfielder recently filed a one-time switch with FIFA to represent the U.S. after earning two caps for Israel.

Pontius received his first caps in friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica this past winter. The 30-year-old, who will report to the U.S. after Philadelphia's trip to face Sporting Kansas City on Thursday, already has equaled a career high with six assists in 17 MLS appearances this season.

The U.S. opens the Gold Cup against Panama on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee.

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