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Thursday 21st Sep 2017

The 45th edition of Copa América Centenario (Centennial in English), the international soccer tournament, is held this year in the United States. It is the first Copa América hosted outside of South America. With the Group Stage done, we are going to enjoy the four quarterfinals games this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 16th through the 18th. The quarterfinals are direct elimination and in this case is also the knockout stage.

The United States has advanced out of the Group Stage and made it to the knockout round together with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile. Let’s take a look at their rosters and see who we would like to have on our fantasy teams.

Goalkeepers: The most expensive, for a good reason, is Alfredo Talavera from Mexico. He should be your first choice. Do you need to save money and go inexpensive at this position? Then Colombian David Ospina, playing for Arsenal, may be your man.

Defenders: Venezuelan Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, playing in France, has the necessary experience. Argentine’s team has a good and disciplined defense. Consider any of their backs, from Jonathan Maidana to Gabriel Mercado to Nicolás Otamendi.

Midfielders: Chile’s Arturo Vidal, playing for Bayern Munich, is my top midfielder choice. Juan Cuadrado form Colombia, who may be on his way back to Chelsea next season, should be on your horizon. Another Colombian worth considering is James Rodriguez, fresh from winning the UEFA Cup with Real Madrid. Do not forget the US team: Michael Bradley is a strong contender and worth picking up.

Forwards: Let’s start with a US icon, Clint Dempsey. Alexis Sanchez from Chile, currently with Arsenal, is a strong contender to be on our fantasy team. Argentina has many capable forwards. See if you can balance your budget and fit a couple of these players: Sergio Agüero, Gonzalo Higuaín, Erik Lamela or Ángel Di María. Why so many players from Argentina on this page? Because they are the tournament’s top seed and the favorite to win the Copa. Note that both Luis Suarez (hamstring) and Lionel Messi (back) are game-time decisions. That said, in my opinion, of the two Barcelona stars, Messi will likely play, but both players are expensive. Do you need to balance the budget? Take a look at Paolo Guerrero from the surprising Peru squad that beat Brazil earlier in the tournament.

Note that DraftKings features several leagues that are waiting for your lineups.

Follow Pasko on Twitter @varnica123. His articles about sports in ancient Roman times can be found at www.SportsInAntiquity.com.

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