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Copa America

Copa America 2016: Four CONCACAF Players to Watch

Costa Rica
Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz celebrates after scoring against Panama during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Concacaf Qualifiers football match in Panama City, on November 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA

This summer there will be six CONCACAF nations competing in the 100th anniversary edition of the Copa América: Mexico, USA (Host), Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica. It will be an interesting tournament with the format change/addition of the CONCACAF nations. With that being said, here are four players to keep an eye on during the tournament from the CONCACAF.

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Garath McCleary – Winger, Midfielder (Reading/Jamaica)

An experienced midfielder, McCleary has gotten used to suiting up for his home country of Jamaica. In 2015, he saw 13 appearances for his national team, including a starting role in the Gold Cup. He has 17 total caps for Jamaica with 3 goals, two of which came in 2015. Look for him to guide the offense and offer up much needed experience in the Jamaican attack.

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Luis Tejada – Forward (Juan Aurich/Panama)

He is a seasoned veteran for the Panamanian national team, and his presence this year will be pivotal if Panama wants to make noise in the tournament. Tejada has a whopping 87 appearances with 40 goals while suiting up for his home nation. His efficiency is hard to come by, as he is only one of two Panama players with 20 goals+ for country (on the current roster). When Panama takes the pitch this summer, be sure to keep an eye on #10.

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Bryan Ruiz – Forward (Sporting/Costa Rica)

The Costa Rican captain has seen his share of big games. He helped lead Costa Rica to their first ever quarterfinal appearance in a World Cup at Brazil 2014. Today, he has already racked up 7 goals, with 7 assists this season for Sporting. When he is on the pitch for Los Ticos there will be an added confidence, which is exactly what they will need to make headlines again in 2016.

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Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona – Winger, Attacking midfielder (FC Porto/Mexico)

The youngster for Mexico is having a tremendous year for club, and helped his national team seal a major win in November during World Cup qualification over Honduras. Known for his flair, pace, and ball control, Corona will be one to pay attention to. He is known for coming up with big plays, whether assisting or scoring. Mexico’s current #10 has a lot of fans excited, as he is only 23 years-old.

Thoughts on the list? Who else should we keep an eye on at the tournament? Expectations for CONCACAF in the tournament? Leave a reply in the comment section. Also, be sure to follow The Stoppage Time on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

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