U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already named his 40-man preliminary roster for the 2016 Copa America Centenario this summer but chopping it down to 23 will be tough.
The USMNT face Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay in Group A of the 16-team tournament which celebrates 100 years of the Copa America as CONMEBOL’s 10 teams are combined with six teams from CONCACAF in the tournament being held across the U.S.
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Unfortunately for the U.S. there are plenty of lingering doubts around many players in their squad. In goal both Brad Guzan and Tim Howard have endured testing seasons in the Premier League, while concerns over who will line up in defense continue and forward Jozy Altidore has gone ice-cold in MLS action.
Plenty of players not even in Klinsmann’s initial 40-man roster will arrive in Miami next Monday to practice too. Most of the European contingent will train im Miami (plus the players from Mexico not involved in the Liga MX playoffs) and MLS players won’t be released until after their matches on May 20-22, so they will link up with the team in Dallas on May 23.
The final 23-man U.S. national team squad must be submitted on May 20, so Klinsmann will already have a very good idea of the squad he wants to select. The training camp in Miami will provide a closer look at some of the fringe players from and also a chance to assess the end of season fitness of some of key players who ply their trade in England and Germany following grueling domestic campaigns.
After the final 23-man squad is selected, the U.S. will play three friendlies against Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Bolivia before they begin their Copa America campaign on June 3 against Colombia in Santa Clara, Calif.
With just over three weeks to go until the Copa America kicks off, here’s my 23-man roster for this summer.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando
Defenders: DeAndre Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Steve Birnbaum, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Edgar Castillo
Midfielders: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, Darlington Nagbe, Alejandro Bedoya, Graham Zusi, Christian Pulisic, Fabian Johnson
Strikers: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Gyasi Zardes, Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris
On the bubble: Ethan Horvath, Matt Miazga, Tim Ream, Mix Diskerud, Danny Williams, Lee Nguyen, Chris Wondolowski