On the heels of Copa America, USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter released his 27-player roster ahead of the stars and stripes’ pre-tournament friendlies against CONMEBOL opponents Brazil and Colombia. Let’s take a deep dive into who the USA is bringing in and who could still be in the mix for the tournament.

Whose In?

Goalkeepers: Matt Turner, Sean Johnson, and Ethan Horvath

It’s no shock to US fans that Matt Turner and Ethan Horvath have been called up prior to the tournament. Both have been staples for the USMNT since the 2022 World Cup, proving that they are definitely formidable options for the US. Sean Johnson brings a wealth of club experience to the US roster but has not been a consistent player in the goalkeeper rotation. It looks as though this is a test for the Toronto FC star and could be the make-or-break moment to cement his spot for Copa America.

Defenders: Joe Scally, Mark McKenzie, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson, Miles Robinson, Kristoffer Lund, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tim Ream, and Shaq Moore

Perhaps the most controversial position pool for the USA, Gregg Berhalter certainly did not hold off on calling up some players not traditionally in the cycle. While the USMNT is making a subtle transition away from MLS stars, the inclusion of Shaq Moore and Miles Robinson certainly turned some heads. Shaq Moore’s poor MLS form has many US Soccer fans questioning his inclusion on the roster. However, Berhalter is bringing in some serious experience with Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson as well breakout stars Mark McKenzie and Cameron Carter-Vickers who could help the USA be real players in the tournament.

Midfielders: Timmy Tillman, Tyler Adams, Johnny Cardoso, Malik Tillman, Yunus Musah, Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, and Luca de la Torre

The USMNT midfield could be the make or break at Copa America and Gregg Berhalter has put out an incredibly strong core together heading into their friendlies. While Tyler Adams was sidelined with injury much of 2023, his wealth of experience and grit in the midfield cemented his spot for the stars and stripes. While most of the call ups here are not too shocking, the inclusion of Timmy Tillman definitely left some looming questions in the air. While Tillman has had a strong season for LAFC, the 25-year old eldest Tillman brother has just one cap for the stars and stripes. Is this the start of something great for the MLS star?

Forwards: Brenden Aaronson, Folarin Balogun, Ricardo Pepi, Tim Weah, Josh Sargent, Christian Pulisic, Haji Wright

No real surprises here from Berhalter, but we are seeing the resurgence of some players that did not shine or get the opportunity to shine in Qatar. Ricardo Pepi will be looking to cement his place in the squad after being snubber from the 2022 World Cup, but his time at PSV has proven that the young American is ready to put up a fight. Another absent star as of late, Josh Sargent, is looking to make his way back into the fold. While Sargent has faced serious ankle injuries in the past year-and-a-half, his campaign for Championship side Norwich was rather impressive.

Whose out?

Just 18 of the 27 stars that headed to Qatar made the cut this go around, but the USA is looking as strong if not stronger than before. However, star defender Sergino Dest’s ACL injury is leaving a hole in the backline that Berhalter is currently filling with Nashville’s Shaq Moore. Questions loom over Shaq Moore’s ability to fill that spot for the USA and who else could be the perfect fit, but Berhalter does not seem to be too shaken. Walker Zimmerman then enters the question for the US, but his recent inclusion as the overage player for the Under-23 pre-Olympic squad leaves fans wondering if his absence will leak into Copa America.

While the goalkeeper situation seems to be pretty firmed up with Matt Turner as the #1, the competition for the #2 is wide open. Zack Steffen, another experienced player left off the World Cup, is also not making an appearance in these friendlies despite a relatively success transition to the Colorado Rapids.

Final Thoughts.

With an expanded 26-player roster Berhalter could cut just one of the players he called into camp or use this camp as an extended tryout for those less capped players. One thing is certain, the USA is hungry and looking to bring home a title, but their lack luster performances and missing stars could spell trouble for them if not shored up during these pre-tournament friendlies. Who do you think should make the roster for Copa America?