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USMNT predicted roster for Copa America: Projected final 23 players in USA squad for 2024 CONMEBOL tournament | Sporting News

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The United States men will face a critical summer in 2024 as they host the Copa America, with the CONMEBOL championship to be played on U.S. soil as a tune-up event for the 2026 World Cup in two years.

Aside from being a World Cup warmup, though, this tournament is a chance for the U.S. to gain valuable minutes against world-class opposition and earn international acclaim in one of the top international competitions around.

Gregg Berhalter will know the Copa America will be about results, and there are no moral victories or larger takeaways that rank above wins and losses. Reaching past the quarterfinals of this competition will be of paramount importance to the United States, and thus bringing the best players available will be a top priority.

The Sporting News looks at what players will be in the mix for a Copa America roster spot, and who could be on the outside looking in, understanding that injuries and fitness concerns will arise to muddy the waters over the coming months.

MORE: Sergino Dest injured, likely to miss Copa America in devastating blow to USMNT

USMNT predicted roster for Copa America 2024

A 23-player roster will be tabbed by U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter to participate in the Copa America.

Below is a predicted squad for this summer’s Copa America, based upon the assumption that everyone who is fully fit for March international duty will remain as such this summer. Injuries happen, and will be handled as they come up.

Caps are correct as of March 28, 2024. Age listed as of tournament start on June 23, 2024.

Pos Name Club Age Caps
GK Drake Callender Inter Miami (USA) 26 0
GK Ethan Horvath Cardiff City (ENG)* 29 9
GK Matt Turner Nottingham Forest (ENG) 29 39
DEF Reggie Cannon QPR (ENG)* 28 1
DEF Cameron Carter-Vickers Celtic (SCO) 26 16
DEF Kristoffer Lund Palermo (ITA) 21 3
DEF Tim Ream Fulham (ENG) 36 56
DEF Chris Richards Crystal Palace (ENG) 23 16
DEF Antonee Robinson Fulham (ENG) 26 41
DEF Miles Robinson FC Cincinnati (USA) 26 29
DEF Joe Scally Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) 21 9
MID Tyler Adams Bournemouth (ENG) 25 38
MID Johnny Cardoso Real Betis (SPA) 22 10
MID Luca de la Torre Celta Vigo (SPA) 25 20
MID Weston McKennie Juventus (ITA) 25 51
MID Yunus Musah AC Milan (ITA) 21 35
MID Gio Reyna Nottingham Forest (ENG)* 21 26
FWD Folarin Balogun AS Monaco (FRA) 22 10
FWD Ricardo Pepi PSV Eindhoven (NED) 21 22
FWD Christian Pulisic AC Milan (ITA) 25 66
FWD Josh Sargent Norwich City (ENG) 24 23
FWD Malik Tillman PSV Eindhoven (NED) 21 10
FWD Tim Weah Juventus (ITA) 24 37

* On loan at listed club

Who will make USA squad for Copa America 2024?

Predicted USMNT starting lineup at 2024 Copa America

4-3-3, right to left: Turner (GK) — Scally, Richards, Ream, A. Robinson — Reyna, Musah, McKennie — Weah, Balogun, Pulisic.

Goalkeepers

  • Lock: Matt Turner
  • Bubble: Ethan Horvath, Gaga Slonina, Drake Callender
  • Out: Sean Johnson, Josh Cohen, Zack Steffen, Brad Guzan

Despite his struggles at Nottingham Forest this season, Matt Turner is still the unquestioned starting goalkeeper for the United States.

That’s at least in part down to the fact that nobody has cobbled together a challenge to his spot, which is worrying for the U.S. goalkeeping depth chart. Ethan Horvath was stuck behind Turner at Forest and has only just recently moved on loan to Cardiff City, while young Gaga Slonina struggles at Belgian side Eupen during his first season in Europe.

Drake Callender is the most in-form of the group, but he, like Turner, has displayed occasional issues in possession. Josh Cohen has finally found a new home in MLS but needs to win a starting job from Brad Guzan at Atlanta United to work his way back into the picture, and Zack Steffen needs to put forth a number of solid performances to win back a spot in the USMNT fold.

Center-Backs

  • Lock: Chris Richards, Tim Ream, Cameron Carter-Vickers
  • Bubble: Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty
  • Out: Jalen Neal, Matt Miazga, Jackson Ragen, Aaron Long, Nkosi Tafari, Josh Wynder

At 36 years old, nobody seems to have dethroned Tim Ream as the steadiest presence in the heart of the USMNT back line. Chris Richards and Cameron Carter-Vickers are both well and truly in line for starting consideration, but the fourth spot is up for grabs.

Miles Robinson has worked his way back into the mix after his Achilles injury last spring but has lost his grip on a starting spot. Walker Zimmerman is aging and dealing with injuries, while Mark McKenzie remains on the fringes of the depth chart and Auston Trusty‘s Premier League appearances keep him in the mix.

Josh Wynder did quite well for himself in January camp but will more than likely be earmarked for the Olympic squad this summer, and while Jackson Ragen will have an opportunity to establish himself as a World Cup option, his injury in winter camp ruined the chance to be in the mix this summer.

Full-Backs

  • Lock: Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally
  • Bubble: Reggie Cannon, Kristoffer Lund, DeJuan Jones, Shaq Moore
  • Out: John Tolkin, Bryan Reynolds

The United States suffered their biggest injury set-back of the tournament when locked-in starting right-back Sergino Dest went down with a serious knee injury in mid-April training with PSV. While the specific injury has not been named publicly, a report from The Athletic states that Dest could be absent for up to nine months, indicating he has likely suffered either an ACL or patella tendon tear. That means he would surely miss the Copa America, and it elevates Joe Scally to a likely starter spot opposite Antonee Robinson.

There are additional questions now, however, as young Scally hasn’t impressed in his time with the United States national team, and he’s taken a step back this season at Borussia Monchengladback. There aren’t many better options — Reggie Cannon could make the roster as the backup right-back, but he lost his starting place at loan club QPR in mid-February, and Shaq Moore has been injured to begin the MLS season with Nashville, while many of the other full-back options are all left-sided.

The unconventional option is moving Tyler Adams back to his old position of right-back, given the midfield depth the United States has, but with his injury troubles at Bournemouth, there’s no guarantee he will be in a position to contribute there either. Gregg Berhalter has some serious thinking to do regarding this setup.

Midfielders

  • Lock: Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams, Gio Reyna
  • Bubble: Johnny Cardoso, Luca de la Torre, Malik Tillman
  • Out: Lennard Maloney, Benjamin Cremaschi, Cristian Roldan, Timothy Tillman, Gianluca Busio, Djordje Mihailovic, Kellyn Acosta, Jack McGlynn, Diego Luna

When the U.S. midfield pool is fully fit, it makes for a difficult numbers game that in all likelihood will leave someone very deserving on the outside looking in.

Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah have proven beyond measure their value to this national team, and will be included if healthy. Tyler Adams missed nearly 18 months due to a hamstring injury, but as the most natural No. 6 in the squad, he will make the roster unless further complications arise between now and the summer. Gio Reyna is struggling for club minutes no matter where he goes, but his performances with the national team make it clear he’ll be not only in the squad, but a key contributor.

If all four are healthy when the summer arises, there are at most two more spots here to select. Malik Tillman is having a wonderful season with PSV, but if he’s included, one of Johnny Cardoso and Luca de la Torre will be left off, which feels just as harsh. Johnny has done brilliantly at club level, with his exceptional form in Brazil earning a deserving move to Real Betis in Spain, where he’s hit the ground running. Given the injury concerns with Adams, bringing two more defensive-minded midfielders in Cardoso and De la Torre might be preferable, leaving Tillman the odd man out — unless the PSV youngster is included as a winger, which was the case in March.

Of course, injuries will almost surely have a say in all of this with a number of months still to go before roster selection.

Wingers

  • Lock: Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah
  • Bubble: Brenden Aaronson, Cade Cowell, Kevin Paredes, Alejandro Zendejas, Jordan Morris
  • Out: Paul Arriola, Taylor Booth, Diego Luna, Esmir Bajraktarevic

Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah are locked-in starters when healthy, and both are far and away the most dangerous options for Gregg Berhalter on opposite flanks.

Behind them, however, is a hefty drop-off. In Weah’s absence last November, Berhalter found it hard to make up for the injured Juventus man, with Kevin Paredes and Brenden Aaronson struggling to replicate Weah’s attacking-third threat. Aaronson in particular has had a difficult time at club level with Union Berlin and is no longer a guaranteed presence in this rotation.

Cade Cowell has done well recently to earn a move to Liga MX side Chivas, and earning a starting role there could lead to more significant time with the USMNT first-choice side. Still, at just 20 years old, the U.S. coaching staff will have to decide whether the team is best served with him at Copa America or with the U-23 squad at the Olympics — doing both would be untenable. It seems the latter is more likely after Gregg Berhalter told media it was “too soon” for Cowell to make the March roster, saying he was better served to play with the youth side in that window.

IAlejandro Zendejas could be an option, as Berhalter said he was “very close” in March, but on current form he’s failed to elevate himself enough. If Berhalter isn’t convinced by any of the previous choices, he could opt to bring an extra striker with positional flexibility and sacrifice a natural wide player to do it.

Strikers

  • Lock: Folarin Balogun, Haji Wright
  • Bubble: Ricardo Pepi, Brandon Vazquez, Josh Sargent
  • Out: Jesus Ferreira, Duncan Maguire

Folarin Balogun‘s spot in this squad is unquestioned at this point, even amidst a season of muted production at AS Monaco. He is being pushed hard, however, by Haji Wright who has quickly risen to prominence with another exceptional season, this time in the Championship with Coventry City. He could end up as the starter at the Copa America if his good form continues to the end of the club campaign.

Ricardo Pepi is making the most of a tough situation at PSV, but as Wright elevates himself to the squad, it leaves Pepi’s inclusion in serious doubt.

There are other players who are making a solid case for a spot, and the amount of strikers included will largely depend on if Berhalter wants to take just two No. 9s or if the positional flexibility of Josh Sargent, Brandon Vazquez, or Jesus Ferreira will convince him to take an extra striker and sacrifice some out-of-form wingers.

Vazquez, Sargent, and Ferreira are all natural strikers and clearly at their best in those positions, but are all capable out wide. With a collection of American wingers struggling for form, Berhalter could decide that between Gio Reyna and another striker or two, he could cobble together wide options at the Copa America if needed.

USA 2024 fixtures: Friendlies, warmup games and Copa America

With the CONCACAF Nations League title in hand from March, there are no more international windows until the Copa America squad convenes this summer.

That leaves just pre-tournament friendlies against Colombia and Brazil left on the schedule before Berhalter’s squad opens Copa America play against Bolivia on June 23 in Arlington, TX.

Date Competition Match Location Time (ET) TV Streaming
Jun. 8, 2024 International Friendly USA vs. Colombia Landover, Md.
(FedEx Field)
5:30 p.m. English: TNT
Spanish: Universo
English: Sling, Max
Spanish: Fubo, Peacock
Jun. 12, 2024 International Friendly USA vs. Brazil Orlando
(Camping World Stadium)
7 p.m. English: TNT
Spanish: Universo
English: Sling, Max
Spanish: Fubo, Peacock
Jun. 23, 2024 2024 Copa America
Group Stage
USA vs. Bolivia Arlington, TX
(AT&T Stadium)
6 p.m. TBD (Fox Sports) Fubo
Jun. 27, 2024 2024 Copa America
Group Stage
USA vs. Panama Atlanta, GA
(Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
6 p.m. TBD (Fox Sports) Fubo
Jul. 1, 2024 2024 Copa America
Group Stage
USA vs. Uruguay Kansas City, MO
(Arrowhead Stadium)
9 p.m. TBD (Fox Sports) Fubo
Jul. 6, 2024 2024 Copa America
Quarterfinals
TBD (if qualified) TBD (either Las Vegas, NV OR Glendale, AZ) TBD TBD (Fox Sports) Fubo
Jul. 10, 2024 2024 Copa America
Semifinals
TBD (if qualified) Charlotte, NC
(Bank of America Stadium)
TBD TBD (Fox Sports) Fubo
Jul. 14, 2024 2024 Copa America
Final
TBD (if qualified) Miami, FL
(Hard Rock Stadium)
TBD TBD (Fox Sports) Fubo
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