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Over the weekend, Jürgen Klinsmann released the 23-man roster that he will take to Copa América this summer. There was the same notable group of players that have formed the core of the American roster for the last several years, minus Jozy Altidore who will miss the tournament through injury, and some young guns were thrown into the mix, as well. With all of the ridiculously talented nations that are competing in this international tournament, the U.S. were never going to be considered a favorite no matter who they picked, but it won’t stop me from analyzing the roster choices. Here are three key takeaways I got from Klinsmann’s squad:

Wingbacks continue to be a weakness

For some reason, the U.S. have had mixed experiences with their fullbacks as of late. It looks as if DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), and Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) will compete for the starting spots in the wingback department. However, Yedlin and Johnson have been thrown in as wide midfielders so it’s not clear whether or not Klinsmann will continue this trend over the summer.

That leaves Chandler and Orozco as the possible starters, and neither of them have been consistent at the international level. American supporters were so optimistic about Chandler’s future with the Stars and Stripes after he switched allegiances back in 2011. The defender’s career with the national team hasn’t exactly gone to plan. He never really looked settled in Klinsmann’s system, and he even took a 15-month break from international play after being cup-tied in 2013. For his club, Chandler ended the year with a flurry of strong performances. Hopefully, he can carry over this form and finally perform on the international level.

No Jordan Morris

With Jozy Altidore missing the tournament through injury, I would’ve thought that Morris was a shoo-in to make the 23-man roster. Apparently not. The Seattle Sounders striker, who had scored four times in his last six matches, was left off the roster behind Gyasi Zardes, Bobby Wood, Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski. Yes, that Wondolowski.

Ever since bursting on the scene with a goal against Mexico, Morris has been touted as one of the future superstars of the American team. At just 21, the Stanford alum will have plenty of other chances to shine, but he’ll be disappointed not to find himself on the roster.

You have to think that if it wasn’t for Bobby Wood’s unbelievable season with Union Berlin in the German second division (17 goals), Morris would’ve been the final striker on the roster. When he’s in form, he looks like a dynamic goal scoring option, but the rough start to his professional career (five games without a goal) shows that he’s still developing as a pro. I’m sure he’ll make plenty of impact for the Stars and Stripes in future tournaments.

Guzan over Howard?

It looks like the end of the Tim Howard era is finally over for the United States. The 37-year-old keeper, who will move to the Colorado Rapids after a successful 13-year European career, seems to have been demoted to a backup role behind Brad Guzan for the tournament. Should this change hold up, it will be the first major international tournament the U.S. have played with Howard as a backup since the 2006 World Cup.

Taking a look at Guzan, the Aston Villa keeper didn’t have the best of years in England. Unable to hold down the starting role for the Birmingham club throughout the entire season, Guzan would start just 28 games as Villa finished dead last in the table. Over those 28 games, Guzan would keep two clean sheets, but I think that was more down to Villa’s horrendous defense than his ability between the pipes.

With the likes of James Rodríguez and Carlos Bacca awaiting the U.S. in Group A, Guzan will have his hands full. Can he take advantage of his time as the Americans’ number one, or will we see Tim Howard return to the fold before the end of the group stage?


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