michael bradley
Can this be USMNT's year in the Copa America? Pictured: United States midfielder Michael Bradley (4) moves the ball in front of Canada midfielder Will Johnson (8) during the first half at StubHub Center in Feb. 2016.Reuters

The United States Men's Soccer Team (USMNT) open proceedings of the Copa America Centenario as they take on Colombia in the opening game of the landmark event on Friday at the Levi's Stadium in California. A total of 16 teams are vying for the coveted title this time around.

The opening match of any competition sets the tone for the entire duration of the tournament, and it remains to be seen if Jurgen Klinsmann's side can tackle Colombia, who are being considered the favourites going into the match. A reminder: In the FIFA World Cup 2014, the USMNT reached the round-of-16 after some impressive display in a group that included eventual champions Germany.

The likes of Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Kyle Beckerman and the experienced Clint Dempsey will stay key to the USA's hunt for their first Copa America title this year. They have participated in a total of three editions previously, and their best-ever finish has been in the fourth place in Copa America 1995.

Group A of Copa America 2016 is not an easy one. Apart from USA and Colombia, it features Costa Rica and Paraguay. Colombia and Costa Rica had both reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Therefore, to be in the top two sides to qualify from the group to the knockouts, teams have no option but to put their best foot forward.

For Colombia, winners of the Copa America in 2011 and three-time third-place winners, James Rodriguez remains the most influential name. The Real Madrid attacking midfielder was one of the main attractions for Jose Pekerman's side in the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the positive thing is the 24-year-old is just about entering his peak years.

Rodriguez is not the only star in the Colombia team, which also features Juan Cuadrado and highly-rated AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca.

The result of the match is simple: Colombia, ranked #3 in the world, will be too hefty a task for the United States to record a favourable result against. However, the USMNT, ranked #31 in the world, can use the home advantage to record an upset win against the away side. Therefore, expect the match to be a tight one.

Key battles: Carlos Bacca (Col) vs Tim Howard (USA), Jermaine Jones (USA) vs James Rodrigues (Col), Jurgen Klinsmann (USA) vs Jose Pekerman (Col).

Where to watch live

Copa America 2016 opening game: USA vs Colombia is scheduled for a 9:30 p.m. ET (7 a.m. IST, 2:30 a.m. BST) start on June 3, 2016.

BROADCAST OPTIONS

India: Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD.

United Kingdom: Premier Sports.

United States of America: Fox Sports 1 USA, Fubo TV.

South America/Latin America: DirecTV.

Colombia: DirecTV Sports Colombia, RCN, Caracol TV.

LIVE STREAMS

India: Sony Liv.

US: Fox Sports Go.

Colombia: DirecTV Play Deportes.

UK: None.

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