USMNT Surprises with Young Squad for 2024 Copa América

Will This Be the Year of Triumph?

Brazil v United States - Continental Clasico 2024
Brazil v United States - Continental Clasico 2024 / John Dorton/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages

Coach Gregg Berhalter surprised many by announcing the 26 players who will represent the United States in the 2024 Copa América. In a tournament that has already seen historic moments for the USMNT, the expectation is that the combination of youth and experience in this squad will yield surprising results and solidify the country’s standing.

Berhalter’s roster, revealed after an exciting 1-1 draw against Brazil, ranked fifth in the world, is a balanced mix of veterans and young prospects. Notably, the average age is just 25 years and 230 days, making it the second-youngest US team in Copa América editions, only surpassed by the 2007 team. This detail is not just a statistical curiosity but a sign of the emphasis on renewal and preparation for the future, especially after the strong campaign in the 2022 World Cup.

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Among the selected players, familiar names like Christian Pulisic stand out. At 25, he is already a veteran with 68 caps for the national team. His presence, along with other experienced players like Weston McKennie and Tim Ream, provides the necessary balance to guide the younger players. We cannot overlook the quality of the young talents emerging as great prospects. Gio Reyna, for instance, who plays for Nottingham Forest, and Yunus Musah, from AC Milan, are two players just 21 years old who already display impressive maturity on the field.

The USMNT will start their Copa América journey by facing Bolivia at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, a venue where they have historically shown strength. Next, the team will face Panama in Atlanta and finally Uruguay in Kansas City.

The 2024 Copa América will be held in 14 stadiums across 13 cities in the United States. The partnership between Concacaf and CONMEBOL to bring the competition back outside South America, only for the second time in history, is proof of the success of the 2016 Copa América Centenario. The environment will be highly competitive, with the presence of traditional and established teams like Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, as well as emerging ones like Canada and Mexico.

Berhalter’s squad also reveals a strategic inclusion of players who play for European clubs, which not only raises the technical level of the team but also brings valuable experience from high-level competitions. With nine players participating in the upcoming UEFA Champions League, such as Pulisic and Musah (AC Milan), McKennie and Weah (Juventus), and Pepi and Tillman (PSV Eindhoven), the American team promises to bring dynamic and competitive soccer.

Pulisic’s experience in three Copa América editions, combined with the solid performance of Matt Turner, who recently surpassed the 100-save mark in his career, shows that the team has what it takes to make an impact in this edition. Turner, in particular, was crucial in the recent draw against Brazil, a match that raised expectations about what this young squad can achieve.

The intense preparation and positive history of home games are factors that fuel hopes for a historic campaign. Berhalter’s strategy of blending young prospects with experienced players seems well-placed, and the participation of athletes who have already shone in European clubs reinforces confidence in the team’s capability.

The 2024 Copa América is a golden opportunity for the USMNT to show the world that they are ready to compete on equal footing with the world’s soccer powerhouses. Will this be the year of the United States’ consecration on the international stage?


GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ethan Horvath (Cardiff City/WAL; 9), 25-Sean Johnson (Toronto FC/CAN; 13), 1-Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 41)

DEFENDERS (9): 2-Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 17/0), 23-Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/ITA; 3/0), 24-Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 13/0), 16-Shaq Moore (Nashville SC; 19/1), 13-Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 58/1), 3-Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 18/1), 5-Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 43/4), 12-Miles Robinson (FC Cincinnati; 29/3), 22-Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 11/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): 4-Tyler Adams (Bournemouth/ENG; 39/2), 15-Johnny Cardoso (Real Betis/ESP; 13/0), 14-Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 21/0), 8-Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 53/11), 6-Yunus Musah (AC Milan; ITA; 37/0), 7-Gio Reyna (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 28/8), 17-Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 11/0)

FORWARDS (7): 11-Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/GER; 41/8), 20-Folarin Balogun (Monaco/FRA; 12/3), 9-Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 25/10), 10-Christian Pulisic (AC Milan/ITA; 68/29), 26-Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 23/5), 21-Tim Weah (Juventus/ITA; 39/6), 19-Haji Wright (Coventry City/ENG; 10/4)