The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to begin Copa America Centenario – a tournament celebrating the 100th anniversary of the historical Copa America tournament featuring all 10 South American countries and a pair of guests every four years – against Colombia on Friday, June 3 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Here is what you need to know about the #USMNT heading into the opener, which kicks off at 9:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and Univision.
Road to Russia / 2016 Results
The USA is 6-1-0 in 2016 and owns a four-game winning streak, including wins in all three Copa America Centenario warm-up matches last week against Puerto Rico (3-1), Ecuador (1-0) and Bolivia (4-0). The MNT is also in the process of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The U.S. sits in second place in Group C in the Semifinal Round of Qualifying with two matches left to determine the participants in “The Hex”, the final round which begins in November.
The MNT will participate in Group A as hosts of Copa America Centenario. Following Friday’s clash with Colombia, the USA will travel to Chicago to take on Costa Rica on Tuesday, June 7 and then Philadelphia to complete group lay against Paraguay on Saturday, June 11. The rest of the Copa America Centenario bracket can be viewed here.
The U.S. roster for Copa America Centenario is made up of three goalkeepers, eight forwards and 12 midfielders/forwards.
There are 14 players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, and a total of 19 who have already appeared in qualifying for Russia 2018. The group includes Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Chris Wondolowski, DeAndre Yedlin, and Graham Zusi.
The team has combined for 898 caps, good for an average of 39.04 per player. Dempsey leads the team with 124 appearances and 49 goals, which ranks second in USA history. Meanwhile, 20-year-old goalkeeper Ethan Horvath is the lone player on the roster without a senior team cap.
12 players on the roster come from MLS, along with four from the German Bundesliga, three from the English Premier League, two from Liga MX (Mexico) and one apiece from the Scottish Premiership, Ligue 1 (France) and Tippeligaen (Norway).
Christian Pulisic is the youngest player on the roster at 17 years, 8 months and 16 days old as of Friday’s opener, while Tim Howard is the oldest player on the roster at 37 years, 2 months and 28 days old. They are separated by a span of 19 years, 6 months and 12 days.
While the roster consists primarily of players with FIFA World Cup experience, it also includes a bevy of young newcomers. Up top, speedy attackers Bobby Wood (23) and Gyasi Zardes (24) have impressed offensively since becoming regular contributors in the past year and a half. Over the past couple weeks, Pulisic (17) and Darlington Nagbe (25) have drawn headlines for their creative play and goal-scoring ability. Despite playing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, defenders DeAndre Yedlin (22) and John Brooks (23) are two of the youngest players on the roster. The team also features former 24-year-old D.C. United teammates in Perry Kitchen and Steve Birnbaum. In goal, 20-year-old shot stopper Horvath saw significant time with the U-23 U.S. MNT side throughout Olympic Qualifying, but has yet to debut with the full team.
Guzan is the No. 1
Two weeks ago, Klinsmann announced Guzan will be the MNT’s primary option in goal for the tournament. Guzan, 31, started all three friendlies leading up to the tournament, allowing just one goal over 225 minutes of play.
Guzan is 12-4-4 in official competition for the United States, which includes matches in World Cup Qualifying, the FIFA Confederations Cup, the Gold Cup and Copa America. The Homer Glenn, Ill., native started 13 of 20 matches for the U.S. last year, including all six matches in the Gold Cup.
Guzan started all three friendlies leading up to the tournament, allowing just one goal over 225 minutes of play.
“The Polar Bear” was selected second overall in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft and earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2007. In 2008, Guzan transferred to Aston Villa, where he has since made 167 appearances across all competitions.
Past Copa Experience
This summer marks the fourth time the U.S. will participate in a Copa America tournament, having previously done so in 1993, 1995, and 2007. The MNT defeated Chile, Argentina and Mexico en route to a fourth-place finish in 1995, but was eliminated in the Group Round in both 1993 and 2007. Guzan and Beckerman both played for the U.S. in 2007.