U.S. Hot List: Jozy Altidore, Christian Pulisic lead the way; Miazga down

If it feels like June's Copa America Centenario is right around the corner, it should. The competition's 16 teams must submit preliminary 40-man rosters by April 29, with their final 23-man squads settled by May 20.

That doesn't give U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his colleagues much time to make decisions, which is part of the reason Klinsmann is expected to bring in a few young Europe- and Mexico-based players when the Americans open their pre-Copa training camp in Miami the week of May 15. Not only will the extra bodies help make up the numbers until Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and the rest of the national team's MLS stars arrive after one final weekend of domestic league games, but one or two might also even do enough to survive Klinsmann's last cut.

"How many of those younger players are ready to feed into the senior level toward Copa America? That's a legitimate discussion to have," Klinsmann said in a recent Q-and-A with ussoccer.com. "It's going to be an open fight with the senior guys to get into that roster for Copa America."

Several of those youngsters (plus a few vets) boosted their chances with strong performances over the weekend. Elsewhere, injuries are affecting other Copa hopefuls. Whose stock is trending up or down right now? Find out below.

Warming up

Jozy Altidore, FW, Toronto FC (MLS)

Why he's here: After a sore hamstring forced him to miss the beginning of the MLS season, Altidore made his first start on Saturday and set up Sebastian Giovinco's goal in TFC's 1-1 tie at New England.
What this means: The cautious approach the Reds and the national team have taken -- Altidore was a sub in last month's two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala, scoring in the second tilt -- could pay dividends if the 26-year-old can make it through the Copa America without breaking down.

Timmy Chandler, DF, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)

Why he's here:A coaching change in Frankfurt has been a godsend for the German-American full-back, who went from persona non grata (he wasn't even making the 18 until Niko Kovac replaced Armin Veh as manager last month) to starting its past three matches.
What this means: "We get another chance to see how he's doing over the next couple of weeks," Klinsmann said of Chandler. "It's important to see that he really picks it up and plays strongly in the Bundesliga in order to have a shot at Copa America."

Brad Guzan, GK, Aston Villa (England)

Why he's here: The 31-year-old blanked Guatemala in his last U.S. start, and with Tim Howard possibly idle until he joins the Colorado Rapids in July (Howard hasn't played for Everton since losing his place to Joel Robles in January), Guzan is playing at the highest level of any American keeper -- at least until Villa get relegated next month.
What this means: While Guzan appears to have the inside track based on playing time, it's worth noting that Klinsmann still started the 37-year-old Howard in Guatemala City. He still values the older man's leadership and experience, too; don't be surprised if the coach still considers Howard for the starting job this summer.

Christian Pulisic, MF, Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

Why he's here: The 17-year-old from Hershey, Pennsylvania, had his best game yet in his second start for the perennial Bundesliga powerhouse in Sunday's 2-2 tie at Schalke.
What this means: Pulisic is a lock for Klinsmann's Copa America roster if he continues to play regularly for and contribute to one of Europe's best teams over the final month of the German season.

Bobby Wood, FW, Union Berlin (Germany)

Why he's here: The Hawaiian scored his 15th and 16th goals of the 2015-16 campaign last week for the second-tier team, breaking former U.S. striker Conor Casey's record for most by an American in a single season in Germany's top two divisions.
What this means: Wood, 23, is making a compelling case for big minutes in June. His prolific season has already caught the eye of Bundesliga mainstays Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen, according to a report from SI.com.

Ethan Horvath, GK, Molde (Norway)

Why he's here: Klinsmann suggested that Horvath, who at 20 is already among the more experienced young keepers in the U.S. player pool, will be given serious consideration for the Copa roster. "He's a very promising goalkeeper," the coach said of Molde's No. 1. "How fast can his development curve be over the next couple of months?"
What this means: The U.S. coach has also praised San Jose Earthquake David Bingham and Leon's William Yarbrough in recent weeks, so take his comments as you will. Still, the sense is that Horvath has the best shot of the bunch at Klinsmann's final 23.

Paul Arriola, MF, Tijuana (Mexico)

Why he's here: The 20-year-old is enjoying a breakout season for the Liga MX side this season, starting the Xolos' past five games in all competitions.
What this means: Arriola is still a significant long shot to make Klinsmann's Copa roster, but he's done enough to warrant his first senior invite for the first week of camp.

Emerson Hyndman, MF, Fulham (England)

Why he's here: The crafty Texan celebrated his 20th birthday on April 9 by scoring a stoppage-time winner against Cardiff City.
What this means: Like U.S. U-23 teammate Arriola, Hyndman probably isn't a serious candidate for this U.S. this summer. But Hyndmann, who already boasts one senior cap, is laying the groundwork for a long look later this year.

Cooling down

Edgar Castillo, DF, Monterrey (Mexico)

Why he's here: Castillo has started nine of the Liga MX-leading Rayados' 13 games but missed Saturday's 6-0 win over Chiapas with a foot injury.
What this means: The ailment isn't considered serious, meaning that Castillo should be available when the Europe and Mexico-based players report for U.S. duty next month.

Matt Miazga, DF, Chelsea (England)

Why he's here: A week after his comfortable Premier League debut, Miazga struggled in his second start, getting pulled at halftime of the Blues' 1-0 loss to Swansea City.
What this means: Hiccups are to be expected during the early stages of any young defender's career. Saturday's game showed that Miazga still has a ways to go to adjust to the pace of the game at the top level.

Jordan Morris, FW, Seattle Sounders (MLS)

Why he's here: The much-hyped Morris continues to adapt to MLS, going scoreless through his first seven professional games (including two in the CONCACAF Champions League).
What this means: Morris, who won nine caps before playing his first minute as a pro, might be better served staying in Seattle this summer. "We have to give him time," Klinsmann said. "In the beginning there will be a little bit of a roller coaster for Jordan, but over time he will settle in and will become more consistent."

Darlington Nagbe, MF, Portland Timbers (MLS)

Why he's here: The shifty playmaker's Copa participation in doubt after a ruthless Nigel de Jong tackle in Sunday's 1-1 tie at the LA Galaxy.
What this means: Early reports are that X-rays on Nagbe's left leg came back negative, which is obviously good news if accurate. Still, there was no official update and no timeline for his return as of Tuesday morning.

Tim Ream, DF, Fulham (England)

Why he's here: After finally winning his place back under new manager Slavisa Jokanovic, Ream missed the Cottagers' 2-1 win against Cardiff City with a leg injury.
What this means: With five games to go in the English Championship season, Ream still has time to put himself back in Klinsmann's plans if he recovers quickly.