The inaugural F365 USMNT Copa America ladder sees clear No. 1

Ryan Baldi
USMNT players Pulisic, McKennie, Robinson and Adams.
USMNT players Pulisic, McKennie, Robinson and Adams.

With a Copa America on home soil fast approaching, the United States men’s national team is getting the famous F365 ladder treatment.

The tournament kicks off on June 20 and gives the home nation’s collection of gifted young stars a chance to bolster their international credentials ahead of co-hosting the next World Cup in two years’ time.

So let’s step inside the mind of manager Gregg Berhalter and run through the players competing for places in the 23-man squad.


1) Christian Pulisic
The unquestioned star of US soccer, Pulisic is in the form of his life with AC Milan this season, having scored 12 goals and provided seven assists in Serie A.

At 25, the former Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund man is approaching his peak just as the USMNT rounds into a crucial couple of years, beginning with the Copa America and up to a World Cup on home soil in 2026.

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2) Weston McKennie
If Pulisic’s name is the first Berhalter will scrawl on to his team sheet for this summer’s Copa, he will be hurriedly etching McKennie’s immediately after.

The 25-year-old former Leeds United and Schalke midfielder has been a reliable presence in the middle of the park through what has been a tumultuous season for Juventus. His return of seven assists is a career high.


3) Antonee Robinson
An ever-present for Fulham in the Premier League this season, Robinson is a no-brainer for Berhalter.

The left-back is as reliable an option as any at the manager’s disposal and a career-high tally of six assists evidences a developing creativity and quality in the 26-year-old’s delivery from wide – a useful weapon for the USMNT.


4) Tyler Adams
After an injury-ravaged 2023/24 season, Adams has worked his way back to fitness just in time to rediscover his match sharpness with Bournemouth before jetting off to join up with the USMNT at the Copa America.

If his health holds, Adams will be a key piece of Berhalter’s midfield make-up, just as he was in March’s Nations League triumph.


5) Chris Richards
The USMNT stand to be a clear beneficiary of Oliver Glasner’s impressive work since taking over from Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace thanks to the form shown of late by the Eagles’ American centre-back Chris Richards.

The 24-year-old former Bayern Munich defender has started 22 Premier League games this term and shone in a recent 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United at Selhurst Park.


6) Yunus Musah
A Milan team-mate of Pulisic’s, Musah has not reached the level of stardom at the San Siro this season as his USMNT colleague, with the majority of his appearances in Serie A coming from the bench. He hasn’t been nearly as productive, either, with just two assists.

But the 21-year-old proved his vast talent and temperament for the big stage in a string of breakout performances at the last World Cup. He’s a sure-fire squad pick for Berhalter and will be in contention for a starting berth.


7) Haji Wright
The hero of Coventry City’s unlikely run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup – where but for a razor-thin VAR offside call going against him, the Sky Blues would have spectacularly knocked out Manchester United – Wright’s star is on the rise on the international stage, too.

The 26-year-old forward replicated his club-level heroics to fire the USMNT past Jamaica in the Nations League semi-finals in March, earning a starting spot for the final and vaulting himself high into Berhalter’s Copa America plans.


8) Timothy Weah
Weah has been utilised as a wing-back at Juventus this season, a role to which the 24-year-old’s skillset is not well matched, as proven by the fact he has not been able to crack the Old Lady’s starting line-up on a consistent basis and has no Serie A goals and just one assist to his name.

But the former Paris Saint-Germain and Lille player is still a forward in Berhalter’s eyes, with the USMNT coach starting Weah on the right wing in the Nations League final victory over Mexico.


9) Folarin Balogun
Without a goal for more than a month and no longer a certain starter at the Stade Louis II, it’s fair to say Balogun has fallen some way short of expectations following a €30million switch from Arsenal to Monaco last summer.

He has not scored for the USMNT in 2024, either. Yet the outstanding scoring form the New York-born 22-year-old showed while on loan in Ligue 1 with Reims last term – where he notched 22 goals – showed a quality of finishing and striker’s instincts that will at least make him an asset for Berhalter’s side, perhaps best deployed as an impact substitute.


10) Gio Reyna
It wasn’t so long ago that Reyna, emerging at Dortmund as a teenager, was on a trajectory to rival Pulisic as the USMNT’s main man. But injuries and poor form have sent the 21-year-old playmaker’s young career into a spiral.

On loan for the second half of the season with Nottingham Forest, there seemed hope of a resurgence when he finally cracked the starting line-up for back-to-back games in mid-April. But then he was back on the bench for the visit of Manchester City and was not even named among the substitutes for last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea. A strong showing in the Nations League a couple of months back is the only saving grace keeping the No.10 high in Berhalter’s thinking.


11) Matt Turner
He might no longer be the first-choice goalkeeper at club level for Nottingham Forest, but Turner’s status between the sticks for the USMNT is unlikely to shift between now and the Copa America. Berhalter will not want to experiment with change in the position.


12) Johnny Cardoso
Born in the States but raised in Brazil, Cardoso starred for Internacional before making a switch to Real Betis in La Liga last winter. The 11-cap USMNT defensive midfielder has earned rave reviews so far in Spain, where his form over the second half of the season should put him in contention to start at the Copa America.


13) Josh Sargent
Berhalter would have been a nervous observer of last weekend’s Championship play-off clash between Norwich City and Leeds United when Sargent was carted off with an apparent ankle injury in the final minutes.

But the knock the Canaries star sustained was not as serious as it first seemed and he should be fit to return in time for the second leg at Elland Road. Sergant has scored 16 goals in the English second tier this season and is one of few in-form striking options Berhalter can call upon.


14) Luca de la Torre
It has been a season to forget at club level for De la Torre. The California-born midfielder has been mired in a relegation battle with Celta Vigo, with the 17th-placed Galician side still not totally assured of their La Liga safety with three games to play. And the 25-year-old recently lost his place in the starting XI at Balaidos, with his last four outings coming from the bench.

He has plenty of credit in the bank at international level for Berhalter to overlook his rocky club campaign, though, and the 20-cap ex-Fulham player’s experience will remain valued.


15) Ricardo Pepi
The PSV striker boasts one of the most impressive goals-per-minute ratios in Europe, scoring on average every 62.5 minutes for the Dutch champions this season. But the fact he has started just one league game likely means he’ll be regarded as a bench option for the USMNT.


16) Tim Ream
It’s been a difficult season for Fulham defender Tim Ream, with a thigh injury costing him a month of playing time before the turn of the year and now a spell as an unused substitute that dates back to February. If fit and healthy, though, the 36-year-old is still likely to start alongside Richards at the heart of the USMNT defence.


17) Joe Scally
With first-choice right-back Sergino Dest ruled out with an ACL injury, 21-year-old Scally is the man most likely to step in and start. The nine-cap full-back has played 31 Bundesliga games for Borussia Monchengladbach this season, with a goal and four assists to his name, and has the versatility to play on either side of the backline.


18) Miles Robinson
An Achilles injury robbed Robinson of the chance to play at the last World Cup. Now fit and firing again after a move from Atlanta United to reigning Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati ahead of the 2024 season, he will be a lock for Berhalter’s roster at the Copa. He will even be in the mix to start if the coach deems Ream’s lack of recent club action an issue.

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19) Ethan Horvath
After helping Luton earn promotion to the Premier League while on loan at Kenilworth Road last season Horvath was unable to break into the Nottingham Forest line-up upon returning to his parent club. But a January move to Cardiff City brought regular first-team football in the Championship, which should help secure the back-up spot behind Turner at the Copa.


20) Malik Tillman
After an impressive season on loan with PSV, where his nine goals and 12 assists helped secure an Eredivisie title, the Dutch club last week spent £12 million to make Tillman’s move from Bayern Munich permanent. The gifted attacking midfielder is yet to translate his fine club form to the international stage in 10 USMNT appearances, however.


21) Cameron Carter-Vickers
A regular starter for Scottish champions Celtic, Carter-Vickers is another solid central-defensive option for the USMNT if Ream’s inactivity becomes a concern.


22) Brenden Aaronson
Aaronson’s energy, versatility and experience should be enough to ensure a place on the Copa roster, but the 40-cap midfielder has had a difficult season with Union Berlin, with only two goals to his name and more than half of his appearances coming off the bench.


23) Drake Callender
Still uncapped, 26-year-old Callender has been involved at international level since last year and his place as the starter for Supporters’ Shield leaders Inter Miami makes him the frontrunner for the final goalkeeper’s spot in Berhalter’s squad.


24) Kristoffer Lund
Lund switched international allegiance from Denmark to the United States last year and has accumulated three caps since. With a dearth of quality full-backs in light of Dest’s injury, the Palermo left-back has a strong chance of getting the nod for the Copa America.


25) Auston Trusty
Trusty stock ought to have been boosted by the fact he spent the 2023/24 season as a regular starter for a Premier League club. But that club just happened to be bottom-placed Sheffield United and the 25-year-old former Arsenal centre-back has been part of one of English football’s leakiest defences in the last three decades.


26) Mark McKenzie
Another of the United States’ many solid centre-back options, 25-year-old McKenzie is a regular starter for Genk in the Belgian top flight. He made the squad for the Nations League in March but has not played for the USMNT in 2024.


27) Kevin Paredes
Wolfsburg’s Paredes is another option in the full-back department Berhalter could call upon, especially if he values an attack-minded player among his defensive roster, with the 21-year-old a more natural wing-back who can also play as an out-and-out winger.


28) Brandon Vazquez
Former MLS All-Star Vazquez has scored 10 goals in 25 games for Monterrey this season after a move from Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati in January, but the powerful striker is likely to be the odd man out in Berhalter’s forward options ahead of the tournament.


29) Jesus Ferreira
FC Dallas striker Ferreira recently became the youngest player ever to reach 50 MLS goals and the 23-year-old has an outstanding record for the USMNT, with 15 goals from 23 caps. A strong few weeks of form in MLS could bring him into contention for a place on the Copa roster.


30) Lennard Maloney
An all-energy defensive midfielder who starts regularly for Heidenheim in the Bundesliga, Maloney earned his first senior USMNT cap last year after switching allegiance from Germany at the under-20 level. The 24-year-old would be a capable understudy to the likes of Adams and Musa.

31. DeJuan Jones

32. Patrick Schulte

33. Gaga Slonina

34. Benjamin Cremaschi

35. Cade Cowell

36. Walker Zimmerman

37. Paxten Aaronson

38. Gianluca Busio

39. Alejandro Zendejas

40. Roy Wegerle