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Projecting the USA's 23-man roster for Copa America 2016

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Who will make the cut?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Copa America Centenario is rapidly approaching. We're less than a month away from the United States taking on Colombia in the opening match of the special anniversary tournament. Jurgen Klinsmann's side have drawn a rather difficult group but not an insurmountable one. Playing at home in all three group matches should give the Americans a slight advantage over Costa Rica and Paraguay, while the battle against Colombia will be a much tougher ask.

Klinsmann narrowed his roster choices down to 40 at the beginning of May. That makes the task of trying to project the final 23-man roster a little easier but making those 17 cuts was more difficult that you'd expect. No matter who gets sent home, there will be some talented individuals left off the roster.

Before the final roster is turned in on May 20, we wanted to give our take on who we think will make the final cut. Here is our prediction on who will get those coveted final 23 roster slots and represent the USA at this summer's Copa America tournament:

Goalkeepers

1. Brad Guzan

2. Tim Howard

3. Ethan Horvath

Regardless of club form, Howard and Guzan are the mainstays between the USA posts. One or the other -- or possibly both -- will be relied on to start in this tournament. With two veterans in camp it could leave the door open for the U-23 starter and Europa League standout Ethan Horvath as the emergency situation goalkeeper. If anything it would be smart to bring him along for the experience if you see him as the goalkeeper in waiting for the future.

Missed the Cut: Nick Rimando has always been the third wheel in this bunch. It's time for next generation to get a chance. David Bingham is a good option, but he doesn't have the long-term upside that Horvath possesses.

Defenders

4. John Brooks

5. Geoff Cameron

6. Edgar Castillo

7. Omar Gonzalez

8. DeAndre Yedlin

9. Matt Besler

10. Timmy Chandler

Brooks has had a great season with Hertha Berlin. This needs to be the summer his club performances finally translate to the national team. Cameron, Gonzalez, and Besler will be competing to be his partner assuming he's fit. Yedlin and Castillo appear to have the fullback spots locked up unless Klinsmann decides to go back to the Cameron-at-right back plan. That leaves the controversial pick of Timmy Chandler. He makes the cut solely for his versatility. With Castillo the only natural left back on the roster you need someone who can fill in. Sure there is Fabian Johnson but his position seems to be in the midfield.

Missed the Cut: Kellyn Acosta is one for the future. Ventura Alvarado isn't getting enough club minutes and hasn't performed particularly well for the USMNT. Steve Birnbaum and Matt Miazga are victims of the numbers game. Brad Evans, Eric Lichaj, and Tim Ream are a surplus to vital needs. Michael Orozco is out in the wilderness with his club.

Midfielders

11. Michael Bradley

12. Jermaine Jones

13. Alejandro Bedoya

14. Fabian Johnson

15. Darlington Nagbe

16. Kyle Beckerman

17. Lee Nguyen

This group is pretty self-explanatory. Nguyen could be the only one in danger of not making the final roster.

Missed the Cut: Mix Diskerud isn't starting for his club and hasn't been effective in a year. There just isn't enough room for Perry Kitchen or Alfredo Morales. Danny Williams seems to be the odd man out on almost every roster, which is unfortunate. Graham Zusi is the most likely to end up in the actual roster, but we opted for Nguyen instead.

Forwards

18. Jozy Altidore

19. Clint Dempsey

20. Jordan Morris

21. Bobby Wood

22. Christian Pulisic

23. Gyasi Zardes

Jozy isn't scoring for Toronto FC but he's doing all the little things right. Dempsey and Morris are starting to develop chemistry for Seattle, hopefully they can bring it to the national team. Wood is coming off the best year of his career. Zardes is playing really well for LA Galaxy this season. Pulisic is an extremely talented player who Klinsmann has to be salivating over.

Missed the Cut: Chris Wondolowski has seven goals this season so far but we've seen what he can do for the national team and he's just not effective when it matters the absolute most at the international level. Ethan Finlay is an unlucky cut due to roster limitations.