United States vs. Colombia
After three impressive friendly match victories in preparation for Copa America Centenario play, the United States is confident entering the landmark tournament. MLS players makeup nearly half the U.S. roster with the starting XIs in the warmup matches featuring a strong contingent of notable league stars. Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe was the hero in the U.S.-Ecuador match after scoring the game-winner and his first ever international goal in a 1-0 victory on May 25 and looks to provide solid depth to a midfield loaded with MLS talent. Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids) and Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) join team captain Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) among starting lineup hopefuls, each bringing World Cup experience to the table.
LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes shined during the U.S.’s 4-0 rout of Bolivia on May 28, notching a brace, while both Nagbe and Bradley recorded an assist in the victory. Expected to start alongside Zardes is Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey, the second leading scorer in U.S. Men’s National Team history. Anchoring the backline are Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United) and Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) with each player receiving a start during the team’s final two pre-Copa America Centenario friendlies.
Costa Rica vs. Paraguay
In another match with a strong group of MLS standouts, Costa Rica faces Paraguay on Saturday, June 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL (5 p.m. ET, FOX/Univision/UDN). Five MLS players suit up for Costa Rica including a pair of Vancouver Whitecaps FC players in defender Kendall Waston and forward Christian Bolaños. A two-time World Cup participant, Bolaños has four goals for Vancouver this season, while Waston has emerged as an intimidating force on Costa Rica’s backline. Paraguay counters with Seattle Sounders FC Designated Player Nelson Valdez who has played in two World Cups and will be making his fourth appearance in Copa America.
Haiti vs. Peru
In the second match of a triple-header, Haiti and Peru square off at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA on Saturday, June 4 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS2/Univision/UDN). Sporting Kansas City midfielder Soni Mustivar figures to start as a defensive midfielder for a Haiti squad making its first ever Copa America appearance. Mustivar has 12 caps for Haiti, most recently playing in a 3-1 loss to Colombia on May 29.
Brazil vs. Ecuador
Fierce South American teams Brazil and Ecuador are the early favorites to advance from Group B and will battle for the early advantage at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA on Saturday, June 4 (10 p.m. ET, FS1/Univision/UDN). Orlando City SC midfielder Kaká suits up for Brazil and will be playing in his first Copa America despite three World Cup appearances. The 2007 Ballon d'Or winner has exhibited fine form this season for Orlando and currently ranks third in MLS with five assists this year. Representing Ecuador is 21-year-old FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo. One of the youngest participants at the 2014 World Cup, Gruezo’s aggressive style has proven key for Dallas this season as he leads the team in interceptions and figures to start at defensive midfield for Ecuador.
Jamaica vs. Venezuela
Following a packed Saturday, Copa action continues on Sunday, June 5 when Jamaica and Venezuela face off at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL (5 p.m. ET, FOX/Univision/UDN). Six MLS players will play important roles for Jamaica including Philadelphia Union superstar goalkeeper Andre Blake. Blake has led Philadelphia to the top of the Eastern Conference standings and ranks second in fewest goals allowed, making incredible save after incredible save this season. New York Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence hails from Jamaican soccer royalty and will start on a backline looking to continue Jamaica’s unprecedented international success following a second place finish in the CONCACAF 2015 Gold Cup.
MLS Players on Copa America Centenario Rosters
United States (11) Jamaica (6)
Tim Howard – Colorado Rapids Andre Blake – Philadelphia Union
Steve Birnbaum – D.C United Kemar Lawrence – New York Red Bulls
Matt Besler – Sporting Kansas City Jermaine Taylor – Portland Timbers
Kyle Beckerman – Real Salt Lake JeVaughn Watson – New England Revolution
Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC Simon Dawkins – San Jose Earthquakes
Jermaine Jones – Colorado Rapids
Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes Costa Rica (5)
Michael Bradley – Toronto FC Christian Bolaños – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Gyasi Zardes – LA Galaxy Ronald Matarrita – New York City FC
Graham Zusi – Sporting Kansas City Álvaro Saborío – D.C. United
Johan Venegas – Montreal Impact
Paraguay (1) Kendall Waston – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Nelson Valdez – Seattle Sounders FC
Haiti (1) Kaká – Orlando City SC
Soni Mustivar – Sporting Kansas City
Ecuador (1) Alberto Quintero – San Jose Earthquakes
Carlos Gruezo – FC Dallas Anibal Godoy – San Jose Earthquakes
Blas Perez – Vancouver Whitecaps FC