USMNT line-up against Panama promises surprises

USA face Panama and Berhalter is expected to stick with his winning line-up
United States Men's National Team Training
United States Men's National Team Training / John Dorton/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages

The USMNT are preparing for their second match at the Copa America 2024. As hosts, they will be looking to build on a strong start to the tournament that saw them overcome a resilient but flawed Bolivia 2-0, with goals from Christian Pulisic and Folarin Balogun. That night, Pulisic shone brightly, so much so that the debate went on all week about whether or not "Captain America", who is in sensational form, is the best player the United States has ever produced.

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So the USA need just one win to reach the last 16. Panama and Bolivia are easier opponents, so to speak, but the big challenge in Group C of the 2024 Copa America will be Uruguay. Bielsa's Celeste look like a sinister threat that will be a real test when the time comes, but for now, the USMNT should be confident of reaching the last 16, thanks to the luck that has smiled on two inferior opponents.

A win at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, would put the USA on 6 points out of a possible 6 and in an extremely beneficial position to advance in the group stage and reach the knockout phase early. It would depend on the result of the other game, but not going over 6 points would be crazy. As a result, it seems clear that Berhalter has no choice but to field his strongest team in an attempt to overcome the Panama team that will be fighting for survival in the competition.

So the question remains: does Berhalter stick with what worked last time out against Bolivia or opt for fresh legs? At the moment, it looks like Berhalter will go with the former and stick with what he knows best and which worked so well against the Bolivians. As such, this is the XI we're expecting: Turner; Scally, Chris Richards, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams; Gio Reyna, Timothy Weah, Christian Pulisic; Folarin Balogun.