Young Talent Featured in Upcoming Copa America Centenario
As the U.S. Men’s National Team gears up for the opening match of the 2016 Copa America Centenario, the talented young players continue to impress the soccer world.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s main objective in this tournament is to advance as far as possible; however, it’s no secret that developing the stars of tomorrow is an essential part of his plan.
In the matches leading up to Friday’s clash with South American powerhouse Columbia, youth has played an integral role in the team’s success.
Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin, and Christian Pulisic, (each of whom are 24 or younger) all performed well in the Copa America warm-up games and have been selected to represent the U.S. in this summer’s tournament.
While much of the squad appears to be veteran players, the exciting youngsters that were picked have the chance to be key figures in Klinsmann’s side.
Youth In the Attack
Zardes and Wood, the two young dynamic attackers, offer speed, high work rates, and finishing to the American attack. Both can expect to see significant minutes for the national team this summer.
During his tenure, Coach Klinsmann has stressed the importance of developing the future of U.S. soccer and has given opportunities to young players to prove themselves.
Wood is a prime example of how Klinsmann’s strategy is beginning to pay off.
Bobby Wood, who scored 17 goals this season and has just signed with Hamburg, was given his first national team cap by Klinsmann in August of 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. Klinsmann claimed that he wanted to give youth a chance and he has.
The American striker has already scored five times in the red, white and blue, and has impressed coaches, fans, and players with his strength and ability hit the back of the net.
Wood, Zardes, Brooks, and Yedlin are all exciting prospects with lots of potential, and close followers of the USMNT have been aware of them for some time.
Christian Pulisic is an entirely different story. Pulisic’s meteoric rise has all happened within the last few months.
After being called up to Borussia Dortmund’s first team over the winter break, and featuring in several Bundesliga and Europa League matches, the PA native burst onto everyone’s radar. He now has the opportunity to represent his country in the Copa America Centario.
The 17 year-old became the youngest player to score two goals in the German Bundesliga and has already scored for the USMNT.
The teenage midfielder’s ability to seize opportunity has presented him with the chance of a lifetime. His ability and potential point to a bright future for him and U.S. Soccer.
A Balanced Mix
While many may see Klinsmann’s exclusion of prospects like Miazga and Morris as a move away from youth, the reality is that the U.S. Copa squad contains several exciting young players in attack, midfield, and defense who have the potential to be the future of U.S. Soccer.
Klinsmann’s Copa America Centenario side is a balanced mix of both experienced veterans and exciting youngsters all ready to compete with the best of the Americas.
Do you have a favorite new player on your radar? Let us know in the comments section below!