USA Copa America squad review: Talented squad could make a lasting impression

The USA are set to participate in their fifth Copa America. On this occasion, they are hosting the tournament for the second time, having done so in 2016.

But unlike in 2016, they had to qualify for this one, doing so with relative ease after beating Trinidad & Tobago 4-2. Here we'll explore the main players to watch as the Americans attempt to finally win major honours outside the CONCACAF brand.

USA Copa America squad review
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon Sport

USA – Key stats

Year founded: 1913

Current FIFA ranking: 11

Highest FIFA ranking: 4

Year of Copa America debut: 1993

Best Copa America performance: Fourth place (1995 & 2016)

Player to watch: Ricardo Pepi

Full USA Copa America squad

This squad is pretty much as expected, with countries allowed to submit a bigger than normal squad for this edition of Copa America.

The USMNT has never reached the final of a Copa America, but with a youthful squad playing all over Europe and the MLS, they will be keen to venture that far. However, the bookmakers aren't too confident, and have them joint-fifth favourites to win at 12/1.

Goalkeeper

  • Ethan Horvath (Cardiff City)
  • Sean Johnson (Toronto FC)
  • Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest)

Defence

  • Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic)
  • Kristoffer Lund (Palermo)
  • Mark McKenzie (Genk)
  • Shaq Moore (Nashville SC)
  • Tim Ream (Fulham)
  • Chris Richards (Crystal Palace)
  • Antonee Robinson (Fulham)
  • Miles Robinson (FC Cincinnati)
  • Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Midfield

  • Tyler Adams Bournemouth)
  • Johnny Cardoso (Real Betis)
  • Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo)
  • Weston McKennie (Juventus)
  • Yunus Musah (AC Milan)
  • Gio Reyna (Nottingham Forest)
  • Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven)
  • Timothy Tillman (LAFC)

Attack

  • Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin)
  • Folarin Balogun (AS Monaco)
  • Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven)
  • Christian Pulisic (AC Milan)
  • Josh Sargent (Norwich City)
  • Timothy Weah (Juventus)
  • Haji Wright (Coventry City)
Josh Sargent is a surprise pick for the US – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise inclusions in USA Copa America squad

Josh Sargent (Norwich City)

Josh Sargent enjoyed a stunning season for Norwich City in the Championship, with his goals a huge season behind their surge into the play-offs. However, the American international was forced off with an injury at half-time of their first-leg draw at home to Leeds United, so being in this squad is a surprise when considering how serious his injury appeared to be.

Sargent also isn't the best striker when playing for the USMNT, having scored just five goals in 23 appearances in fact, his last goal came against Cuba in November 2019 when he actually netted a brace.

Timothy Weah (Juventus)

Timothy Weah scored the USA's only goal during their 5-1 defeat at the hands of Colombia last time out. But before that, he hadn't found the back of the net since September 2023.

He's also struggled for his club, Juventus, of late. The American international failed to score a single goal in 30 Serie A appearances during 2023/24, so it's not a promise that he will get many starts this summer in a home tournament.

In-form players for USA

Christian Pulisic (AC Milan)

After a torrid time of things in the Premier League with Chelsea and a shocking injury record, Christian Pullisic has been a standout performer in the Serie A. Pulisic managed to put up the best-attacking numbers of his entire professional career during 2023/24, with 12 goals and eight assists.

In his last major tournament appearance, the AC Milan winger enjoyed a moderately successful World Cup 2022, scoring once and registering a further two assists.

Haji Wright (Coventry City)

Haji Wright hadn't played for the USA since December 2022, but his season with Coventry was good enough to earn him a recall and earn a further three caps. The Championship striker has two goals in his last three appearances for the USA, via a brace against Jamaica.

Wright finished the season with 19 goals in 50 appearances across all competitions, including one against Manchester United in the FA Cup, so he's capable of performing on the big stage.

Haji Wright
Haji Wright could have been an FA Cup finalist, but it wasn't to be. – Photo by Icon Sport

USA Predicted Copa America XI

USA vs Bolivia

(4-3-3) Turner, Robinson, Ream, Richards, Scally, Adams, Tillman, Mckennie, Pulisic, Balogun, Weah

On paper, the USA should be the favourites for all three clashes as they're ranked higher by FIFA. However, they don't have the experience of other countries at Copa America, leading us to pick Uruguay as the likeliest Group C winners. In short, this game is there for the taking, so an attacking lineup is well-needed.

USA vs Panama

(4-3-3) Turner, Robinson, Carter-Vickers, Richards, Scally, De la Torre, McKennie, Reyna, Pulisic, Balogun, Pepi

If the USA have aspirations of getting out of their group, then six points from their first two games is crucial. They have won five out of the last seven meetings against Panama, so this squad should have enough quality, but dropping the out-of-form Weah for an exciting winger in Ricardo Pepi is key to getting in behind a resilient defence.

USA vs Uruguay

(4-3-3) Turner, Robinson, Carter-Vickers, Richards, Scally, De la Torre, McKennie, Adams, Pulisic, Balogun, Weah

Without a doubt, this is the hardest game on paper for the Americans. Three out of the last four meetings have ended in a stalemate, while the USA won the other one 2-1. But under Marcelo Bielsa, Uruguay are a different animal.

They have beaten both Argentina and Brazil in the last 12 months, so the USA will need to be compact and try to contain a dangerous side in their final group game.


Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.