USMNT squad ranked from chili dog to bison’s backside ahead of Copa America

Ryan Baldi
USMNT squad ranked ahead of Copa America.
USMNT squad ranked ahead of Copa America.

The 2024 Copa America kicks off in less than two weeks’ time and the USMNT’s 5-1 hammering at the hands of Colombia in their first warm-up friendly was not the confidence-boosting performance manager Gregg Berhalter was hoping for.

It’s not going to get any easier for the host nation, either. Their final pre-tournament game will see them take on Brazil in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday.

Despite their humbling loss to Colombia, a wealth of American talent based on both sides of the Atlantic means this iteration of the USMNT have a genuine chance of putting together a deep run in the competition that begins on June 20 and ends with the final in Miami on July 14.

Berhalter has named a provisional 27-man roster from which, thanks to CONMEBOL acquiescing in May to member nations’ request for an increase from the standard squad size for the tournament of 23, he only has to cut one player in time for the tournament.

But which of his stars are shining brightest going into the Copa? And whose recent performances should be of concern?

Here’s a comprehensive USMNT form guide to explain it all.


USMNT squad: Hotter than a chili dog in Death Valley

Christian Pulisic
Pulisic hit the post with his side trailing 2-0 against Colombia and he was taken off at half-time, before the worst of the damage arrived. The USMNT’s undisputed top star is coming off the best club season of his career. The 25-year-old scored 12 goals for AC Milan in Serie A, while also contributing eight assists – both career-high returns. He enters the Copa America in fine fettle, too, having scored two goals and registered two assists in his last four appearances for the Rossoneri.

Chris Richards
One of several Crystal Palace players who have shone since Oliver Glasner took charge at Selhurst Park mid-season, Richards has established himself as a regular starter at the heart of the Eagles’ defence and finished the campaign unbeaten in his last eight appearances. The 24-year-old also produced arguably the best performance of his career in a 4-0 defeat of Manchester United in May.

Haji Wright
One of the best players in the English second tier this past season, Wright discovered a level of consistency with Coventry in 2023/24 that had eluded him for much of his career. He notched 16 goals and provided seven assists in the Championship, as well as powering the Sky Blues’ fairy-tale run to the FA Cup semi-finals with crucial goals. A goal and an assist in the last two games of the campaign means he’s riding high ahead of the Copa America.

Johnny Cardoso
A January signing from Internacional in Brazil – where he grew up after moving to the country from the United States as an infant – Cardoso quickly established himself as a reliable presence at the heart of Real Betis’ midfield in La Liga. The 22-year-old has impressed with his defensive discipline, accurate passing and powerful shot.

Malik Tillman
One of the most prolific creative midfielders outside of Europe’s five major leagues, Tillman so impressed over the second half of PSV’s Eredivisie title-winning campaign that the Dutch club have already forked out €12 million to make his loan move from Bayern Munich permanent. The 22-year-old scored nine goals and provided 10 assists in just 1,591 minutes of action in the Dutch top flight, with seven goal contributions in his last seven games.

Cameron Carter-Vickers
Carter-Vickers came off the bench versus Colombia and his sloppy pass into midfield was intercepted in the build-up to the away side’s fifth goal. There have been happier times at club level this season, though. A regular starter for Scottish champions Celtic, the Southend-born former Tottenham defender was a key part of a backline that conceded just once in the final four games of the 2023/24 season, culminating in a 1-0 Scottish Cup final victory over Old Firm rivals Rangers. Carter-Vickers was named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year for the third season running.

Josh Sargeant
With 16 goals in 26 games for Norwich City in the Championship, Sargeant filed the best scoring season of his career in 2023/24. His goals fired the Canaries into the play-offs, where an injury in the first half of a semi-final second-leg loss to Leeds threatened his Copa availability, but the 26-year-old striker is expected to recover.

Timmy Tillman
The older brother of PSV star Malik, Timmy Tillman joined Los Angeles FC from Bayern Munich last year and has already this season equalled his MLS goals output from 2023. Able to dribble, pass and tackle, the 25-year-old has been a standout for LAFC this term and is one of the most well-rounded central midfielders at Berhalter’s disposal.

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USMNT squad: Mild as a Malibu morning

Weston McKennie
A regular at the heart of the Juventus midfield for much of the season, McKennie produced a career-best return of seven assist in Serie A. But in the final weeks of the campaign he was in and out of the side, as indifferent form and no goal contributions since mid-March saw him slip from favour.

Tyler Adams
Adams was excellent in Bournemouth’s 2-1 victory over Everton on 30 March, winning three tackles and making four interceptions in an all-action display. But that was the defensive midfielder’s only start of the Premier League season. A hamstring injury suffered at the back end of the previous season kept him out for a year. He looked solid for the Cherries in one start and three sub appearances at the back end of 2023/24, but his fitness will be a concern for Berhalter.

Antonee Robinson
A mistimed and misjudged interception of a James Rodriguez through-ball meant Robinson was partly culpable for Colombia’s first goal. But it has been another fine season at club level for the Fulham full-back, who started all but one of his side’s Premier League fixtures. The usually dependable 26-year-old showed a new degree of creativity to his game, too, with a career-high six assists in the league.

Ricardo Pepi
Super-sub Pepi only started one Eredivisie game for PSV in the Dutch club’s title-winning campaign, but he contributed heavily to his side’s success in his limited minutes. Seven goals and two assists in just 460 minutes of game time means the 21-year-old striker was directly involved in a goal every 51 minutes.

Miles Robinson
Robinson signed for 2023 Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati as a free agent in January, after his contract with Atlanta United expired, and the 27-year-old has continued to look like one of the best defenders in MLS. His two most recent performances, however, have not been his best, with a shaky display in a 4-3 win over Toronto followed by a surprise 2-0 loss at home to Nashville.

Yunus Musah
One of the USMNT’s standout performers at the 2022 World Cup, Musah hasn’t made quite as big an impact since joining AC Milan last summer as international colleague Pulisic. But the 21-year-old box-to-box midfielder has still clocked 30 league appearances – 13 as a starter – for the Italian giants: valuable top-level experience for the burgeoning star.

Tim Weah
The scorer of the States’ only goal in the Colombia loss via a tidy 10-yard finish, Weah was also guilty of trying to dribble out of a dangerous area late in the second half, coughing up possession and sending Colombia streaking forward to score their fourth of the game.

He started less than half of Juventus’ Serie A games in 2023/24 following an €10 million move from Lille last summer. And all but two of those starts saw the USMNT forward deployed as a right wing-back, a role to which his is unsuited and that bares no relevance for his Copa prospects, as Berhalter continues to view him as a winger. Often a substitute in the back half of the campaign, he has completed a full 90 minutes at club level just once in 2024.

Sean Johnson
The 35-year-old veteran has started 12 games for Toronto FC this season, conceding 19 goals. His 69.1 per cent save rate ranks him 18th in MLS, while the fact he has conceded 0.4 fewer goals than expected when factoring the quality of the opposition chances he has faced ranks 30th. A solid, experienced MLS goalkeeper, but likely a back-up to the back-up.

Kristoffer Lund
A contender to replace the injured Sergino Dest in Berhalter’s line-up, Lund started 31 Serie B games for Palermo this past season, scoring twice – the first league goals of his career – and providing two assists. He added another assist in the promotion play-offs, although Palermo fell short at the semi-final stage, losing to Venezia over two legs.

Shaq Moore
Another option to fill the void at right-back caused by Dest’s absence, the Nashville SC defender has had his own struggles with injury this season, with hip and leg complaints limiting him to just eight MLS starts. The 27-year-old came off the bench to score his first goal of the season in a 2-0 win over Toronto in mid-May, but he has been hooked at half-time twice in his last four starts.

Joe Scally
It’s quite remarkable the amount of top-level European experience Scally has accumulated at the age of 21. He has now racked up three full seasons with Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach, making at least 30 appearances in each campaign. That, coupled with a versatility that enables him to play at right-back, centre-back or even in midfield, makes him a huge asset for the USMNT.


USMNT squad: Colder than a bison’s backside

Gio Reyna
While his Borussia Dortmund team-mates were storming toward a Champions League final, Reyna was riding the bench at the City Ground, where he spent the second half of the season on loan with Nottingham Forest. He hasn’t played at all since a 16-minute cameo in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in April, serving as an unused substitute for two of Forest’s last three league games, while he wasn’t in the matchday squad of the other.

Folarin Balogun
It’s fair to say that Balogun hasn’t delivered on expectations since his €30million move from Arsenal to Monaco last summer. He was a revelation in Ligue 1 while on loan with Reims for the 2022/23 season, bagging 21 goals in 37 games. He has scored just seven league goals for Monaco and has been a substitute for many of the Principality club’s fixtures over the second half of the campaign.

Ethan Horvath
Horvath at least finished the European season playing regularly for his club, which can’t be said of first-choice goalkeeper Matt Turner. But shipping five goals against relegated Rotherham on the final day of the Championship campaign, after having conceded four against Middlesbrough a week earlier, is hardly ideal Copa prep for the Cardiff City custodian.

Matt Turner
Benched at Nottingham Forest since January, the 39-cap keeper will have to shake off a considerable amount of rust if he is to be ready and firing for the Copa America, as evidenced by the fact he should have done better would at least two of Colombia’s goals. Despite losing his place at Forest, though, Turner’s average of 1.65 goals conceded per 90 minutes in the 17 games he started ranked a respectable 13th in the Premier League, while his save percentage of 67.5 was the 15th best.

Mark McKenzie
The Bronx-born centre-back clocked the most appearances of any season in his career in 2023/24, playing 41 all-competitions games for Genk and helping the renowned talent developers to a Belgian Cup triumph. It was a difficult end to the league season for Genk and McKenzie, though, with just one win from their last seven games. The American defender was particularly poor in a 3-0 defeat to Club Bruges in April.

Brenden Aaronson
Aaronson spent the 2023/24 season on loan from Leeds United at Union Berlin, but the energetic attacking midfielder failed to make the expected impact in the Bundesliga. A substitute more often than he was a starter, the former Red Bull Salzburg player managed just two goals and two assists. However, those two assists did come in his last three games, suggesting he might be clawing back a modicum of form just in time for the tournament.

Tim Ream
Reportedly close to an MLS return with Dean Smith’s Charlotte FC, Ream was a forgotten man at Fulham for a large chunk of this past Premier League season. The veteran American centre-back started 16 games for Marco Silva’s side up until mid-February, but he was then not seen again – not even as a substitute – until the final day of the season, starting in a 4-2 victory over Luton. Ream looked predictably rusty against Colombia.

Luca de la Torre
De La Torre has been a regular feature of Celta Vigo’s midfield since joining the Spanish side from Heracles Almelo in 2022, but a hamstring injury and a period of poor form saw him fall out of the starting line-up at Balaidos over the last two months of the 2023-24 season. His last full 90 minutes came in a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid back in March