The Young Guns


Each summer, footballers from across the globe gather, and test their talents not for club, but for country. Hardened veterans take the pitch, clamoring for one last chance at glory, while up-and-coming players use the tournament as a springboard to superstardom. This year, the stage for their performance is the Copa America Cenetario. In 2014, footballers like Paul Pogba, and Memphis Depay made their marks in Brazil. Before them, in 2010, it was Thomas Muller who used international football to fast-track his career.

Here, we chronicle the young guns. The future superstars with eyes on the back of the net, and in turn, global celebrity. By FIFA standards, any player under the age of 23 is eligible to win Best Young Player. These criteria were used to create this list. One player from each of the 16 participating countries was selected. You can find their outlooks below.

Game on, y’all.

Group A:

The Next Great American Hope: Christian Pulisic

An Anchor Behind: Jeison Murillo

Staying Superman: Joel Campbell

A Rising Star: Derlis Gonzalez

Group B:

Death By Defense: Marquinhos

The Next (Little) Thing: Jonathan Gonzales

The Rainmaker: Duckens Nazon

Filling Legendary Shoes: Renato Tapia

Group C:

Leading From Behind: Jose Maria Gimenez

Saving El Tri: Jesus Corona

Pride of Portland: Alvas Powell

Grand Torino: Josef Martinez

Group D:

The Jewel: Paulo Dybala

From Croatia With Love: Angelo Henriquez

A Natural Selection: Darwin Pinzon

Manning The Posts: Romel Quinonez

NOTE: All data included in “The Young Guns” guide comes from ESPN FC. All photos are fair use from wikimedia commons.

How to cite this article: “The Young Guns” Written by Shaker Samman (2016), Copa America Centenario 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on (date)).