The 2024 Copa América kicks off in one month and USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has some big decisions to make ahead of a big summer for the national team. With a senior Copa América on home soil and an under-23 team heading to the Olympic Games in Paris there will be plenty of opportunities for a talented generation of American players to impress.

Ahead of the 2026 World Cup players will be looking to show their worth in the senior squad. Berhalter has a wealth of top stars at his disposal with dozens of Americans playing in the top European leagues.

However last week’s announcement that Copa América rosters are being increased from 23 to 26 players will allow Berhalter to cast the net a little wider and could allow a few more MLS talents to sneak into this summer’s squad. Things are complicated slightly by the fact that the U-23 Olympics team can include three over-aged players, but here’s a look at the MLS players in contention for a spot in the Copa América roster…

Which MLS players will be in the USMNT roster?

At this stage, it’s a fairly short list. Of all the US talent in MLS only FC Cincinnati defender Miles Robinson can be sure of his place in the national team squad. The 27-year-old impressed with Atlanta United for six years and moved to Supporters’ Shield winners Cincy after the 2023 season.

Robinson has been a regular for the senior international team since 2021 and started in the CONCACAF Nations League semi-final victory over Jamaica earlier this year. With his Cincinnati side currently second in the Eastern Conference and boasting the best defensive record in MLS, Robinson will definitely be a part of Gregg Berhalter’s plans this summer.

MLS stars could force their way in

As it stands Robinson is the only MLS player who can expect to find himself in the starting XI for USMNT’s opening game against Bolivia on June 24. However there are a number of stars who will be hoping to push into the roster in the coming weeks.

The goalkeeping spot is currently a problem position for the US, with incumbent Matt Turner losing his place in the Nottingham Forest team this year. The 29-year-old has retained the trust of Berhalter but the USMNT head coach has previously called up Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender. The Herons’ keeper is highly rated but he’s yet to make an appearance for the national team and his club form has dipped slightly in 2024.

Drake Callender has been called up to the USMNT senior team but is yet to make an appearance.JULIO AGUILARAFP

Also in contention as a back-up stopper is Roman Celentano, the 23-year-old who impressed with Cincinnati in 2023. He was called up for international friendlies against Serbia and Colombia last year and this summer could be an opportunity to give him some tournament experience.

The stoic Cincinnati defence includes two other potential USMNT candidates, both of whom have considerable international experience. Matt Miazga was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2023 and, despite question marks over his temperament, has been a reliable performer in Ohio. Former Newcastle United and Inter Miami right-back DeAndre Yedlin has racked up 81 international appearances could provide a more attacking option off the bench for USMNT.

Another defensive option worth considering for Berhalter is Walker Zimmerman. The Nashville central defender has been a reliable MLS performer for a decade and has picked up 42 caps already. He would not be the most thrilling of potential additions but would be a steady presence if called upon.

Young talents could make the step up to USMNT

The recent announcement of three extra spots in the Copa América roster gives Greg Berhalter the chance to blood young players in the senior set-up. A number of promising young MLS players were expected to feature prominently in the Olympics in Paris but the Copa América squad expansion could give them a chance of a senior call-up.

Chief among those are young midfielders Aidan Morris (22 years old) and Jack McGlynn (20), who have both impressed in MLS this season. Morris was an integral part of the Columbus Crew side that stormed to MLS Cup in 2023 and he captained the team against Montreal last month. Likewise McGlynn has become a regular in the Philadelphia Union starting XI this year and recently highlighted his prodigious talent with a sensational strike against DC United.

Also in this bracket are Real Salt Lake’s Diego Luna and Jesús Ferreira of FC Dallas. Both players have real quality and are key performers for their club sides but they face stiff competition for those attacking places. As it stands, they look unlikely to make it for this summer’s tournament but they could be in contention if there’s a late injury to any of Berhalter’s first-choice forwards.


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