Copa America Centenario is underway in the United States. With nations from North America, Central America, and South America, it is filled with talent. It's a scout's dream.
Talented Central and South Americans, you say? That is right in FC Dallas's wheelhouse. FCD Technical Director Fernando Clavijo, as well as others on the staff, will be watching this tournament intently.
With rumors of Walker Zimmerman leaving and all the talent in the U.S. right now, we decided to take a look at five defenders who could possibly replace him.
Here's five defenders FCD fans, and Clavijo, should watch during Copa 2016.
Victor Cuesta (Argentina) - The 27-year-old central defender would step in and possibly be one of, if not the, best defenders in MLS. Cuesta has only been capped once for Argentina and it was this year. But, he's very talented and could help Dallas have one of the best center back pairings in North America. If FCD sells Zimmerman, they could splash the cash from that sell to sign Cuesta.
Felipe Aguilar (Colombia) - Had to include a Colombian. Aguilar is 23-years-old and still plays in Colombia for Atletico Nacional. The center back is 6'3" and has a ton of potential. Why not go after another young talented Colombian?
Michael Orozco (USA) - Wait. Say What? Did he just...doesn't he hate Orozco? Yes, I did. And yes, I'm not a fan of him for the United States Men's National Team. But, he could be a cheap option. As I said in my recent post about forwards to watch, Club Tijuana placed their entire team on the transfer list, including Orozco. He barely saw the field for them, but Orozco could be a decent signing for Dallas. (I feel like I need to take a shower after suggesting this.)
Jorge Fucile (Uruguay) - Fucile is 31-years-old and can play at either fullback position. I suggest a fullback because Maynor Figueroa is also an option to move over and slot in at center back for FCD, opening up a starting spot on the outside. Although 31, he still has gas left in the tank and has a lot of experience to offer. Plus, he's Uruguayan, and you know Clavijo will love that.
Cristian Gamboa (Costa Rica) - Personally, I'm a big fan of Gamboa. The right back joined West Brom in 2014, but has only made 11 appearances for the club and could use a change of scenery. The 26-year-old has spent most of his time in Europe, playing mainly for Rosenborg with New York City FC's Mix Diskerud. Gamboa would be a great signing for any MLS club. Why not FC Dallas?
*Bonus* Greg Garza (USA) - Yes, we know Garza isn't in the tournament. I thought I'd throw him in as a bonus option. Garza was a guy who has turning heads in Liga MX for Tijuana and it earned him some consistent time with the USMNT and even a loan to a better Mexican side in Club Atlas last season, before being derailed by injury. The left back's stock was rising quick. The 24-year-old is feeling better and will be ready to go. Clavijo might want to take a hard look at adding Garza. Oh, and did we mention he's from Grapevine and played for the Dallas Texans?
Basically, this tournament is riddled with talent and FCD needs to take advantage of that. We will be watching for other players we don't even know about yet, and you should too. If someone catches your eye, feel free to name them (defender or not) in the comments.