U.S. Men's National Team
Klinsmann Names 40 to Copa America Prelim Roster
May 01, 2016
JURGEN KLINSMANN today revealed his 40-player preliminary roster for this summer's Copa America Centenario. From this list, 23 players will be selected for the final roster, which is due May 20.
Most of the names are what you'd expect although there are a few surprises. Take a look, and then be sure to choose your optimal 23-man squad with our Copa America Centenario Roster Creator.
David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Ethan Horvath (Molde), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea FC), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Danny Williams (Reading FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund),Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
The notable inclusions
Eric Lichaj—The veteran right back has been a stalwart at Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa. Klinsmann, however, has rarely included the fullback formerly known as "The Rash" for his tight marking. To date, Lichaj's only call-ups under Klinsmann came for a pair of European friendlies in late 2012. Right back, however, has become a thin position and no one has consistently filled the role since Steve Cherundolo’s retirement. Will Lichaj claim the role? It's possible.
Ethan Horvath—The U-23 goalkeeper is the only player on the roster without a U.S. national team cap but he has been on Klinsmann's radar for a while. The coach has gone out of his way to praise the Colorado native and with Horvath starting on a weekly basis for Molde, he has climbed the pecking order quickly.
Christian Pulisic—The 17-year-old from Pennsylvania has had an amazing two months for Borussia Dortmund and is a near-lock to make the final roster. It’s now a question of how big of a role he can take on the team.
The notable omissions
Brek Shea—Even though the Yanks need a left back and a pure left winger, Shea was left off the roster. It’s a pretty telling sign of how far the Orlando City winger/left back has fallen the past few years after his rough stint in Europe.
William Yarbrough—The Club Leon goalkeeper has returned to the starting lineup this year but his omission suggests he has been surpassed on the depth chart by Ethan Horvath and David Bingham.
Emerson Hyndman—The Fulham midfielder was one of the few to show well for the U-23 team last month and he has also played well for Fulham despite seemingly on his way out of the club. Central midfield is a deep position for the U.S., which likely hurt his chances.
Positional battles to watch
Right Back: This will be an interesting battle. Until now, Klinsmann has been reluctant to give Yedlin the starting job and has often preferred to play him on the wing. With the Seattle native now starting regularly for Sunderland, does he get the nod?
There are plenty of other options. Will Fabian Johnson start there as he did at the World Cup? Will the alway-enigmatic Timothy Chandler return? Brad Evans has often played there as well for the national team and the same can be said for Michael Orozco, Geoff Cameron, and Steve Birnbaum. Now with Lichaj in the mix, all bets are off at this troublesome position. (Worth noting: Lichaj has played more right back this season than any other player on this list.)
Left back: Edgar Castillo made his return to the U.S. national team last month and played reasonably well in two World Cup qualifiers. Is that enough to put him on the final roster? Maybe. Johnson is predominantly a midfielder but Klinsmann loves to use him as a left back. Chandler has seen more time at left back than right for the national team. Now you also have Tim Ream in the mix.
Defensive midfield: Kyle Beckerman is a lock at the No. 6 role and there is no clear backup for him. Geoff Cameron can play there but hasn’t done so for the national team since the World Cup. An interesting battle could unfold between Perry Kitchen and Danny Williams. Neither is assured of making the final roster but eventually Beckerman will need to be replaced at some point. Williams and Kitchen are the prime candidates to do so.
Central midfield: Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones are locks but an interesting battle could be emerging between Darlington Nagbe and Mix Diskerud. It is hard to see both making the final squad but one probably will. Right now Nagbe seems to have the edge based on current form but Diskerud has the experience factor, having been with this team in major tournaments in the past. Will the Portland Timbers talisman replace the NYCFC man?
Share your take on the preliminary roster in the Comments section below, and be sure to create your optimal squad with our Copa America Centenario Roster Creator.