Copa America Centenario: 10 players to watch including Jose Maria Gimenez

1. Ismael Diaz, FW, Panama (Porto B)

The future of Panama is bright thanks in part to the exploits of Diaz. The 19-year-old striker scored 13 goals for Porto B in 2015-16, helping his side win the Portuguese second division. But it was at the 2015 CONCACAF U20 Championships where Diaz drew the most attention, scoring four goals as Los Canaleros finished as runners-up. Now he gets a shot to make an impact for manager Hernan Dario Gomez's senior side.

2. Duckens Nazon, FW, Haiti (Laval)

Haiti proved a tough foe at the 2015 Gold Cup, and the 22-year-old Nazon was a big reason, scoring both of Haiti's goals during their run to the quarterfinals. The striker, who plays for Laval in France's Ligue 2, continued that fine form with a pair of strikes in 2018 World Cup qualifying. Defenses cannot afford to fall asleep with Nazon on the field.

3. Hirving Lozano, MF, Mexico (Pachuca)

Mexico fans were surprised to see Lozano included on El Tri's roster for the last round of World Cup qualifying, but the 20-year-old Pachuca man quieted any doubts with a sterling performance in a 3-0 win against Canada in Vancouver. Lozano has clearly won the trust of coach Juan Carlos Osorio, and with Mexico boasting playmakers aplenty, Lozano should have more chances to shine in the Copa.

4. Ronald Matarrita, DF, Costa Rica (New York City FC)

New York City FC's defense has vastly improved in 2016 (excluding the 7-0 horror show to the New York Red Bulls) and Matarrita has played a big role in the team's newfound sturdiness in the back. In 11 starts this season, Matarrita has shown he can get forward in attack and track back when needed. Matarrita played under Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez at Alajuelense when the club made back-to-back appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League, so the 21-year-old should not be daunted by the international stage.

5. Alejandro Melean, MF, Bolivia (Oriente Petrolero)

When U.S. fans aren't watching Jurgen Klinsmann's team in action, they can check out the play of Miami native Melean for Bolivia. The 28-year-old midfielder (born to Bolivian parents) played college soccer at Holy Cross but never got a chance in MLS and headed to South America. There he has become a mainstay at Oriente Petrolero and a regular member of Bolivia's 2018 World Cup qualifying effort. Now this American will get a dream chance to shine with La Verde in front of friends and family.

6. Jose Maria Gimenez, DF, Uruguay (Atletico Madrid)

Gimenez could not have asked for a better mentor at Atletico than countryman and fellow defender Diego Godin, and now Uruguay are set to once again reap rewards at the Copa. Just 21 years old, Gimenez already has 31 caps under his belt including three matches at the 2014 World Cup. Having already played in so many big matches for club and country, Gimenez is poised to thrive this summer.

7. Adalberto Penaranda, FW, Venezuela (Watford)

It takes a lot to better one of Lionel Messi's achievements, but that's what the 18-year-old Penaranda did when he became the youngest foreign player ever to score a brace in La Liga when he picked up a pair of goals in Granada's 2-1 win over Levante in December. On loan from Watford, the Venezuelan scored five goals in 21 matches with the Andalusians and is already on the radar of Premier League big boys Tottenham. A good Copa America would surely increase the number of suitors.

8. Gabriel Mercado, DF, Argentina (River Plate)

One of the older players to make this list, 29-year-old Mercado is among the few domestic inclusions on Argentina's roster. But that's not to say Mercado, who has made just four appearances for the Albiceleste, won't be ready for the spotlight if needed. The right-back scored the winner that earned River the 2014 Copa Sudamericana and he is clearly a player that coach Gerardo Martino trusts of late, having been called for Argentina's past three World Cup qualifiers, all of which were wins.

9. Fabinho, DF, Brazil (AS Monaco)

Once seen as a promising youngster at Real Madrid, Fabinho never broke through at the Bernabeu but found a happy home at Monaco in 2013. Since then he has helped the Ligue 1 club qualify for two straight Champions Leagues, but at the international level, the right-back has played second fiddle to Dani Alves. Still, should manager Dunga seek to instill some fresh blood or be forced into a change, he'll know that the 22-year-old Fabinho will be ready to answer the call.

10. Antonio Sanabria, FW, Paraguay (Roma)

A product of Barcelona's famed La Masia, Sanabria spent 2015-16 on loan at Sporting Gijon and was a key member of a side that managed to avoid relegation on the final day of the La Liga season. The 20-year-old scored 11 goals this past season in Asturias and now will look to make the most of his chance after being named to Ramon Diaz's squad as a replacement for the injured Roque Santa Cruz. Defenders for Colombia, Costa Rica and the U.S. will have their hands full should Sanabria see the field.