In the USA preview for this summer’s Copa America Centenario, we look at the players to watch on the team as well as the schedule of games, squad roster and predicting how far the team will advance in the competition.
Manager: Jurgen Klinsmann
Captain: Michael Bradley
USA preview: Squad:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, ENG), Ethan Horvath (Molde, NOR), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids, USA)
DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City, USA), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United, USA), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin, GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City, ENG), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey, MEX), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana, MEX), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland, ENG)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake, USA), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes, FRA), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, CAN), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach, GER), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids, USA), Perry Kitchen (Hearts, SCO), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers, USA), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, GER), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City, USA)
FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC, USA), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes, USA), Bobby Wood (Hamburg, GER), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy, USA)
USA preview: Overview:
As the hosts of this tournament, there should be an excitement and anticipation gripping all those who follow the USMNT. But some recent contests have revealed concerns about Klinsmann’s squad and whether this group of players can make good on their home advantage.
Indeed, a 2-0 defeat to Guatemala in March spiked concerns about the shape of the team, which is very similar to the group that impressed at the World Cup in 2014. The lack of attacking invention, defensive solidity and tactical acumen from the players on show that night left many looking nervously ahead to the showdown with Colombia on June 3.
But there are reasons to be positive too. While Klinsmann hasn’t deviated too much from the formula which saw the United States into the knockout stages in 2014, the fresh faces in the group—most notably Gyasi Zardes and Bobby Wood—have provided a spark. Balancing their rawness with the old guard will surely be the best way for this team to have success.
The senior figures in the group will stand USMNT in good stead as well. Goalkeeper Tim Howard will want to repeat his heroics of two years ago, Bradley is growing into the role of captain and Clint Dempsey remains a pest to opposition defenses. Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic, just 17, could potentially be an ace in the pack.