SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sporting Alert – Host nation USA and Colombia will kick-start the 2016 Copa America Centenario when they battle at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday night.
Starting time for this game is at 9:30 p.m. ET, with live television broadcast coverage available on Fox Sports 1 USA. You can also watch live online streaming coverage of the tournament opener on Fox Soccer 2GO USA, as well as Fox Sports GO. Here is a full list of all the available TV channels and legal online streaming networks broadcasting the game.
YOUTH GETTING THEIR CHANCES
The United States have named a mixture of veterans and youths in the squad for the tournament, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is expecting the team to do well this summer.
Klinsmann has decided to blend some of the country’s most gifted young players with some of the old guards such as Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Brad Guzan, Chris Wondolowski and Jermaine Jones, so as to give the youngsters a chance to showcase their talents.
“This is a process, and the process is never ending,” the German coach said after USA beat Bolivia 4-0 in the last warmup.
Players such as Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes and Fabian Johnson are among the Americans hoping that they can continue to impress the national coach ahead of the World Cup campaign.
“You see some youngsters now coming through, getting stronger, physically more developed,” Klinsmann told reporters earlier this week.
“I think there’s a lot more confidence in these younger players. I think the older guys, they know that.
“There are not many opportunities anymore like this Copa America, so they are fighting, and that’s what you want.
“You want the established players to understand, ‘listen, if I’m not attentive now, somebody steals my spot.’ It gives it a good drive right now in the camp, but a very respectful drive.”
RODRIGUEZ TO STAR FOR COLOMBIA
The home side will come up against a very talented Colombia side that includes Real Madrid midfield playmaker James Rodriguez, AC Milan forward Carlos Bacca, Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado, as well as defenders Jeison Murillo of Inter Milan and AC Milan’s Cristián Zapata.
It could be an important tournament for Rodriguez, who has been frustrated with his lack of game time since Zinedine Zidane took over at the Santiago Bernabeu in January, but his national boss Jose Pekerman remains confident about his talent.
“He is good, he is fundamental for us, he is a leading player who fills us with his football, he is committed, trying to do everything for the team,” Pekerman told reporters at a news conference after a friendly with Haiti.
“The moment of Madrid is temporary. In his first season he was brilliant, then he hit a difficult year in the second, he had an injury and found a change in coaching staff.
“We know he is dedicated, he is a professional and I know his true behaviour. We are confident he will have a great Copa America.”
Rodriguez said he would like to stay and fight for his place at Real Madrid, but there are also reports linking the World Cup star away from the Champions League holders.
The 24-year-old will captain the team at the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
Costa Rica and Paraguay will also play in Group A alongside USA and Colombia.
The U.S. men’s soccer team has faced Colombia 17 times since first playing in 1961 and is 3-10-4 against the South Americans, with the last win being a 3-0 result in 2005. The last time they battled, Colombia won 2-1 at Craven Cottage in London in November 2014.
— Copa América 2016 (@CA2016) June 3, 2016