In our Colombia preview, we look ahead to this summer’s Copa America Centenario tournament and include Colombia’s schedule, squad roster, star players as well as predicting how far they’ll advance in the tournament.

Colombia preview:

Manager: Jose Pekerman

Captain: James Rodriguez

Colombia preview: Squad:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Cristian Bonilla (Atlético Nacional, COL), David Ospina (Arsenal, ENG), Róbinson Zapata (Santa Fe, COL)

DEFENDERS (8): Felipe Aguilar (Atlético Nacional, COL), Santiago Arias (PSV, NED), Farid Díaz (Atlético Nacional, COL), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors, ARG), Stefan Medina (Pachuca, MEX), Jeison Murillo (Inter Milan, ITA), Yerry Mina (Santa Fe, COL), Cristián Zapata (AC Milan, ITA)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Edwin Cardona (Monterrey, MEX), Guillermo Celis (Junior, COL), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus, ITA), Sebastián Pérez (Atlético Nacional, COL), Andrés Felipe Roa (Deportivo Cali, COL), James Rodríguez (Real Madrid, ESP), Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa, ENG), Daniel Torres (Independiente Medellín, COL)

FORWARDS (4): Carlos Bacca (AC Milan, ITA), Roger Martínez (Racing Club, ARG), Marlos Moreno (Atlético Nacional, COL), Dayro Moreno (Club Tijuana, MEX)

Colombia preview

Colombia preview: Overview:

Expectations were high for Colombia ahead of the 2015 Copa America after an impressive showing at the World Cup the summer before. But the attacking swagger which endeared this team to so many in 2014 was scarce in the Copa, as they limped out on penalties Argentina in the quarter-finals.

Hopes for Colombia aren’t especially high coming into this one. Pekerman has some talented players at his disposal, but the team has struggled for balance since last summer’s underwhelming showing, failing to beat Uruguay, Chile and Argentina in World Cup qualifying recently.

The group is without a few familiar names too. At the point of the attack Pekerman has opted against selecting former skipper and all-time top scorer Radamel Falcao after his dreadful season at Chelsea. Also absent is Jackson Martinez, who left Atletico Madrid in January to join Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande.

They’re both players who have made a big difference for Colombia in the past and it’ll be intriguing to see how the team copes without their predatory instincts. More emphasis will certainly be on the shoulders of winger Juan Cuadrado and new skipper James Rodriguez.

The latter has endured a testing season with Real Madrid and hasn’t been in Zinedine Zidane’s plans since the Frenchman took over. With more onus on the captain, Los Cafeteros supporters will hoping to see a recuperated Rodriguez rather than a rusty version following his spell on the bench. After all, on his day he can swing a clash.

At the back, Colombia look in better shape than last summer, with Jeison Murillo blossoming since his move to Inter Milan; David Ospina is a very dependable goalkeeper too. More focus on the defensive structure of the team could see Pekerman’s side play with more balance, although it’s hard to foresee this side not missing those predatory instincts up top.

colombia

Colombia preview: Group Fixtures:

Friday, June 3

USA vs. Colombia, Santa Clara, CA, 9:30pm ET; FOX Sports 1, Univision, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Tuesday, June 7

Colombia vs. Paraguay, Pasadena, CA, 10:30pm ET; FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Saturday, June 11

Colombia vs. Costa Rica, Houston, TX, 9pm ET; FOX Sports 2, Univision, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

SEE MORE: See the complete Copa America schedule including quarter-finals, semi-finals and final

Colombia preview: Key Player:

Juan Cuadrado – While Rodriguez has been handed more responsibility in the squad following the decline of Falcao, his disappointing season means he may not be at his best in the Copa America. By contrast, Cuadrado has been a player revitalised in 2015-16.

On loan from Chelsea at Juventus, the winger has brought trickery, pace and incision to the right flank of the Italian champions. Cuadrado looks a lot more settled in Serie A after some underwhelming showings in the Premier League and having helped the Bianconeri clinch their fifth title in a row, confidence should be sky high heading into the tournament.

When games become stretched, the 27-year-old is massive threat with his dynamism; expect his team to hold a compact shape, getting the ball forward quickly to best utilise the skills of Cuadrado and Rodriguez in space.

Colombia preview: Verdict:

The draw could have been kinder to Colombia, with three tough opponents in the group stages. They should still have enough to progress into the knockout stages, but after being considered as a genuine contender for the title last summer, this group looks short of the quality required to mount a deep run in the Centenario.

Colombia home jersey

colombia-home-jersey-copa-america

Colombia played in its first South American Championship/Copa America in 1945. The team wore a white jersey. In a nod to that historic moment, Colombia brings back the white, which will be worn only during the 100th anniversary of the tournament. Navy borders the faux polo collar, and is used for the adidas logos and stripes. Red is on the sleeves and neck. Subtle tonal white stripes cover the front and back. “Unidos Por Un Pais” is printed on the back at the neck. 100% polyester.

Find out how to order the Colombia home jersey today.

Colombia away jersey

colombia-away-jersey-copa-america

The jersey has ventilated climacool technology. 100% polyester.

Find out how to order the Colombia away jersey today.

Read all of the Copa America team previews

• Argentina team preview
• Bolivia team preview
• Brazil team preview
• Chile team preview
• Colombia team preview
• Costa Rica team preview
• Ecuador team preview
• Haiti team preview
• Jamaica team preview
• Mexico team preview
• Panama team preview
• Paraguay team preview
• Peru team preview
• United States team preview
• Uruguay team preview
• Venezuela team preview

If you have any questions about the Colombia preview, let us know in the comments section below.

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