After months and months of speculation that the tournament might not be played or held in the United States, the 2016 Copa America Centenario is upon us. The centennial celebration of South America’s confederational competition kicks off two weeks from yesterday, Friday, June 3.
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The U.S. national team’s clash with Colombia will signal the start of the tournament in Santa Clara, Calif. On Saturday, 13 days ahead of taking on the 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists, USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced his official 23-man roster for the 2016 Copa (full roster found below).
Klinsmann told Fox Sports in an exclusive interview that Brad Guzan will be the no. 1 goalkeeper to begin the tournament, with Tim Howard backing him up as the no. 2. Klinsmann on the omission of 21-year-old Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris: it came down to Morris or Chris Wondolowski, and Klinsmann chose Wondolowski for his experience.
The USMNT will play three friendlies ahead of next month’s, beginning Sunday when they’ll play away to Puerto Rico before returning to the U.S. for two final exhibitions against Ecuador (May 25, in Frisco, Tex.) and Bolivia (May 28, in Kansas City, Kan.).
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Ethan Horvath (Molde IK)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)