USMNT set for serious test at 2024 Copa América
Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT could face a difficult group at the 2024 Copa América.
The United States men’s national team will soon find out their opponents for the 2024 Copa América (the draw is tonight, Thursday at 7.30 p.m. ET). Starting in the summer of 2024, the country will become the host of world soccer, firstly hosting the Copa América, the Club World Cup, and then, in 2026, the FIFA World Cup. The challenge for the USMNT is huge, with a crop of young talents looking to go one better than the previous generation of Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson and Michael Bradley.
The Copa América has always been one of the USMNT’s biggest challenges. They have fallen twice in the semi-finals to take fourth place in the 1995 and 2016 editions. In the last edition of the tournament played on home soil - the 2016 Centenario - the US team lost in the semi-finals to Argentina.
The United States is considered the best team in CONCACAF on merit and not just name. The Americans have several quality players such as Folarin Balogun of AS Monaco in Ligue 1, Tim Weah and Weston McKennie at Juventus and Yunus Musah and Christian Pulisic at Serie A giants AC Milan, to name but a few. The disappointment of the Qatar 2022 World Cup elimination at the first hurdle against the Netherlands, was a tough lesson for a team that is slowly beginning to mature.
Pulisic will arrive at the tournament as the Americans’ talisman. His move to Italy means he is once again enjoying his soccer after an unhappy spell in the Premier League, where he lost confidence in his game. The Pennsylvania native is the symbol of a new generation coming through.
Tests for US and Berhalter
Gregg Berhalter is once again facing a challenge that for many feel could be too big for him. Several analysts in the country are calling for a change on the USMNT bench after seeing what happened in some big games, with the defeat against Trinidad and Tobago, and even in friendlies, such as the loss to Germany.
The USMNT squad will be facing the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and even Ecuador in what will be one of the biggest challenges in the recent career of the New Jersey coach, who has been tasked with leading the US through the three-year schedule.