Copa América
100 Days until Copa América: Predicting the USMNT's 23-man roster
Copa América

100 Days until Copa América: Predicting the USMNT's 23-man roster

Updated Mar. 12, 2024 2:01 p.m. ET

It’s been less than three months since the last time we took a crack at predicting the 23 players who U.S. men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter will pick for this summer’s high-stakes, high-profile Copa América on home soil.

Plenty has changed since December. Josh Sargent had just returned from ankle surgery then; now Sargent, who started two games at the 2022 World Cup but didn’t play for the USMNT at all last year because of injury, is lighting up England’s second-tier Championship.

Chris Richards starts every week in the Premier League at center back; he now seems certain to anchor the American back line in June and July.

Tyler Adams is close to returning to the field, though Berhalter finally has someone in Johnny Cardoso who might be able to fill in for the heart-and-soul central midfielder should Adams go down again.


There’s also movement on the fringes of the roster, which will come into ever sharper focus after the U.S. attempts to defend its Concacaf Nations League title in Texas later this month. We’ll have another squad projection then. In the meantime, here’s where the player pool stands with the Copa América now just 100 days away.

Lineup locks

Tyler Adams, 25, Bournemouth (England) 
Sergiño Dest, 23, PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) 
Weston McKennie, 25, Juventus (Italy) 
Yunus Musah, 21, AC Milan (Italy) 
Christian Pulisic, 25, AC Milan (Italy) 
Chris Richards, 23, Crystal Palace (England) 
Antonee "Jedi" Robinson, 26, Fulham (England) 
Tim Weah, 24, Juventus (Italy)

Yes, Adams is still an automatic starter despite missing almost a full year because of hamstring issues. He made Bournemouth’s bench on Saturday for the first time since October and should be fully healthy and match fit by season’s end. Adams’ return reunites the MMA midfield with Musah and McKennie, who returned from a dislocated shoulder on Sunday to set up both Juve goals in a 2-2 tie with Atalanta.

Pulisic’s banner season continues in Milan; the winger scored in each of the Rossoneri’s last two games. He now has 10 goals, just one sky of his career best with Chelsea in 2019-20. Dest, Jedi and Weah will continue to be written in pen, not pencil. And Richards now has to be considered a lock in central defense given the season he’s having with Palace.

Alexi Lalas grades USMNT's potential Copa America kits | SOTU

Potential starters 

Folarin Balogun, 22, Monaco (France) 
Johnny Cardoso, 22, Real Betis (Spain) 
D Cameron Carter-Vickers, 25, Celtic (Scotland) 
M/F Gio Reyna, 21, Nottingham Forest (England) 
Tim Ream, 36, Fulham (England) 
Miles Robinson, 26, Cincinnati (MLS)
Josh Sargent, 23, Norwich City (England)
GK Matt Turner, 29, Nottingham Forest (England) 

If Adams (or McKennie, or Musah) can’t go, Cardoso has earned the chance to be the next midfielder up based on his stellar first few months in La Liga.

The center back spot next to Richards is wide open, though Carter-Vickers and Miles Robinson probably have the edge over Ream, who recently lost his starting spot for Fulham. In goal, Turner is still the presumed No. 1. But his hold on the job is a little less secure now that he’s Forest’s backup backstop and possibly won't see any more club action between now and season’s end.

Sargent has just scored his 9th goal in the last 12 games for the Canaries; he’s played himself not just onto the Copa roster but perhaps into the lineup over Balogun, who has just five goals so far this season in Ligue 1.

Then there’s Reyna. The silky smooth youngster started the final four USMNT games of 2023 despite not playing much for Borussia Dortmund. So, Reyna could in theory fill a role on the wing or in midfield even though he’s now logging fewer minutes in England than he had been in Germany. But it’s hard to see Reyna winning a spot in Berhalter’s best 11 if all the other projected starters are available.

Rounding out the Copa América squad 

Brenden Aaronson, 23, Union Berlin (Germany) 
GK Drake Callender, 26, Inter Miami (MLS) 
GK Ethan Horvath, 28, Cardiff City (Wales) 
Luca de la Torre, 25, Celta Vigo (Spain) 
Ricardo Pepi, 21, PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) 
M/F Malik Tillman, 21, PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) 
Joe Scally, 21, Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)

Pepi has done enough as a super sub for both PSV and the USMNT to get a Copa invite at the expense of Brandon Vazquez, who instead could fill a need as an overage Olympian later this summer. Callender is the likeliest No. 3 keeper option behind Turner and Horvath — who has three shutouts in seven games since joining Cardiff — though a Berhalter reunion with former first choice Zack Steffen is possible now that Steffen is playing every week in MLS.

Aaronson’s stock has fallen during a difficult season-long loan in Germany, but not enough to keep him home. De la Torre and Tillman will fill roles as substitutes, while Scally is the understudy at fullback on both the right and left sides.

[Related: 2024 Copa América odds, picks: Argentina, Brazil early favorites to win]

In reserve or Olympics-bound

Paxten Aaronson, 20, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany) 
Kellyn Acosta, 28, Chicago Fire (MLS) 
Gianluca Busio, 21, Venezia (Italy)
Reggie Cannon, 25, Queens Park Rangers (England) 
Benjamin Cremaschi, 18, Inter Miami (MLS) 
Cade Cowell, 20, Chivas Guadalajara (Mexico)
Jesus Ferreira, 22, FC Dallas (MLS)
Kristoffer Lund, 21, Palermo (Italy) 
Lennard Maloney, 24, Heidenheim (Germany) 
F Duncan McGuire, 23, Orlando City (MLS)
Mark McKenzie, 24, Genk Belgium)
Aidan Morris, 22, Columbus Crew (MLS)
M/ F Kevin Paredes, 20, Wolfsburg (Germany)
Bryan Reynolds, 22, Westerlo (Belgium) 
D/M James Sands, 23, New York City (MLS) 
GK, Patrick Schulte, 22, Columbus Crew (MLS) 
GK Gaga Slonina, 19, Eupen (Belgium)
GK Zack Steffen, 28, Colorado Repids (MLS) 
Tanner Tessmann, 22, Venezia (Italy)
Auston Trusty, 25, Sheffield United (England) 
Brandon Vazquez, 25, Monterrey (Mexico)
F Haji Wright, 25, Coventry City (England)
M/F Alex Zendejas, 25, Club América (Mexico) 
Walker Zimmerman, 30, Nashville (MLS) 

With 14 goals and counting in England’s second tier, Wright has to at least be in the striker conversation for Copa, though the sense is that Berhalter prefers other options. Scally's versatility means Lund could be the odd man out if the coach takes three strikers; Weah is one of several players capable of filling in at fullback/wingback if necessary. Meantime, Zimmerman is still a safe bet to occupy one of the three overage Olympic spots. Steffen, too, could get serious consideration for the Paris Games if Chelsea, Slonina’s parent club, elects not to release the highly regarded young keeper.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and he has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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