Los Angeles (AFP) – United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a 23-man squad for the Copa America Centenario on Saturday, drawing heavily on players who starred at the 2014 World Cup while adding a sprinkling of emerging talent.
Klinsmann, under pressure after a disappointing series of results last year, has chosen 15 veterans of the Brazil campaign two years ago, where the Americans emerged from the “Group of Death” to reach the knockout stages.
Eighteen members of the squad named on Saturday have also played in 2018 World Cup qualifiers while five players boast 50 or more caps.
Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley will captain the team with veteran striker Clint Dempsey also expected to marshal the side.
The youngest member of the squad is rising Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic, the 17-year-old who has excelled in the Bundesliga this season.
Portland Timbers striker Darlington Nagbe fills the void left by injured striker Jozy Altidore.
“This roster really was put together based on what we saw over the last year, and it’s one that makes us the strongest team possible to compete in Copa America and to hopefully surprise a lot of people,” said Klinsmann.
“We feel that these 23 going into the very special Copa America, they really deserved to be there,” added Klinsmann.
“Obviously when you get down and you decide on the final 23-man roster, there are very close, tight decisions to make. The moment when you decide, it’s about definitely who you feel the strongest about.”
Klinsmann’s side face a daunting task to advance past the first round at the Copa America, where their opponents in Group A include 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists Colombia and Costa Rica, as well as 2015 Copa America semi-finalists Paraguay.
The United States kick off the tournament in Santa Clara on June 3 at Levi’s Stadium, the home of the NFL San Francisco 49ers.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Ethan Horvath (Molde/NOR)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach/GER), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham/ENG)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian/SCO)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
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