Beasley, Corona and Gordon replace Altidore, Morales and Garza on U.S. Gold Cup squad

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made three changes to his Gold Cup roster on Tuesday, including the return of four-time World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jurgen Klinsmann has made three changes to his U.S. national team Gold Cup squad, including the arrival of a four-time World Cup veteran and a key member of the 2013 Gold Cup-winning U.S. team.

DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona and Alan Gordon have been called into the U.S. team ahead of the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup, which begin with the quarterfinals on Saturday. The trio replaced Jozy Altidore, Alfredo Morales and Greg Garza.

Altidore's departure comes after the Toronto FC forward struggled to find his fitness in the group stages. Two lackluster performances in wins against Honduras and Haiiti were enough to convince Klinsmann to turn to Gordon as a target-forward option.

"We believe that Jozy’s just not there yet," Klinsmann said of the decision to drop Altidore. "Jozy never really got into this tournament and never really picked up the rhythm. He’s just simply not in the shape right now to help us. For Jozy it’s just simply going back to Toronto, picking up his rhythm, getting in shape, working on his fitness and then he will start scoring goals again.

"That’s why Alan Gordon was on the standby roster from the beginning and that’s why we brought him in," Klinsmann added. "He’s fully fit, he’s so full of energy, he scores goals with the Galaxy, and he fits in right away. He’s a pure giver to the group, and he might be a player that can make a difference at any second when you bring him in.”

The U.S. team's struggles at the fullback position made calling in a veteran like Beasley an easy decision. Timmy Chandler's issues at right back could pave the way for Fabian Johnson to move switch sides and Beasley slide in as a starting option at left back. Klinsmann convinced Beasley to come out of international retirement, and he now stands poised to make his first U.S. appearance since the team's World Cup loss to Belgium.

"Having DaMarcus come into the team is huge, because of his character, his giving nature, the spirit he brings, but also the high quality he brings," Klinsmann said. "He brings a lot of experience into this group, and he’s hungry. He’s still as hungry as day one in his career. That speaks for us having him back in the group and now it gives us a couple of different options on how to put pieces together.

"Greg Garza is there for the future. He’s only getting better," Klinsmann said of the man Beasley replaced. "He’s done tremendously well these last two weeks, he knows that he has to grow more, get more experience and it’s as simple as that. It’s why we made the switch. It’s really fun to work with Greg. He has a great character, a great attitude every day – he gives you everything. For him it was another step in the right direction for the National Team and he totally understands that we want to switch it for right now.”

Corona gives the U.S. a versatile midfield option. Capable of playing either as a winger or central midfielder, Corona was a key contributor on the 2013 Gold Cup-winning U.S. side, and replaces Morales, who failed to impress in the 1-1 tie with Panama on Monday. That was Morales' lone Gold Cup appearance.

"(Morales is) still in the process to become a part of our team in the fine tuning element," Klinsmann said. "There are certain things that just don’t click yet, and it’ll just take a little bit of time. Right now in the tournament, we don’t have that time. In the tournament now we need to produce results and get things done.

"(Corona) knows CONCACAF inside out. Joe Corona is very experienced in playing against the teams from the Caribbean and Central America. He’s a player that can also help us, here and there, to hold the ball better, to take care of the ball. With his great technique, with his one-touch passing, he makes things very easy and simple. I think it’s a great opportunity to have Joe back, even if it hurts a little bit for Alfredo, but that’s just part of the game.”

Klinsmann called in three new players, choosing to pass on using all six roster changes he was allowed. Left off the final squad is World Cup starting center back Matt Besler, who was considered a strong possibility as a knockout round replacement.