Gregg Berhalter on USMNT’s June friendlies roster, upcoming Copa America


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The U.S. Men’s National Team head coach spoke to the media on Monday after the 27-man squad was revealed for June’s upcoming matches against Colombia and Brazil.

Video Transcript

Really excited for this summer coming up.

We have two high profile friendlies with Colombia and Brazil and then we enter Copa America, which will be the most competitive tournament besides the World Cup um that we will compete in.

So we’re really looking forward to that and really represents an opportunity for this group.

Um We, we’ve seen what the players have been doing.

They just finish up their season in Europe.

Um And Midway and MLS and a lot of them are really performing at a high level.

They won trophies, they qualify for Champions League, their, their teams are top of the table in major league soccer.

And we’re looking forward to just seeing how that growth continues with, with our team this summer.

Um Really good opportunity for this team to collectively continue to grow and progress as we reach towards 2026 with this, with this group of 27.

I, is there any way this is not essentially the, the Copa America team?

Obviously, you’d have to cut one player and, and injuries are always a concern.

But is, is this essentially the group?

And then the second part of the question is um how much Olympic planning uh fed into this?


You know, it was, it was a lot, it was two full.

We were looking at players that um could have potentially been on this roster but would have garnered more playing time with the Olympic group.

And we decided that’s the best possible option, you know, for us to really give a broader player pool, international experience um in, in good competition this summer.

So that was very much part of the discussion and a number of players have fallen to that category.

Kevin Peredes being one of them, Aiden Morris, another one.

you know, Brian Reynolds, potentially another one.

So just making those decisions um to, to really impact the entire player pool.

And then in terms of the, you know, the Copa America roster, the, the messaging was very clear that although, um you know, a large majority of this roster will make up Copa America and nothing set in stone.

And I think that’s the important thing.

We want to have a good training camp.

We wanna have some good performances against Colombia and Brazil and you know, we have to monitor, monitor a couple players for their, for their fitness standpoint, um and a couple, couple other four for how we’re performing.

So, you know, this is gonna set the stage for Cope America surely, but it won’t, it, it isn’t set in stone on the uh the strikers.

We, we spoke to you a few months ago.

And you, we asked you, um, how many strikers would likely be in the COPA roster back when the roster size is 23?

And you said it would probably be two or three pure strikers.

Is there a chance that all four of these guys that are on this roster are gonna be on the, on the COPA squad or are you, is that a spot where you might, you know, one of the, the cut might come from?

Well, I, I think it’s, it’s how we look at, um you know, their designated positions right now, currently, we see Haji more fulfilling the the winger role.

Um And, you know, specifically it’s related to how he moves and how he is able to get chances, they generally come from wider positions and um with us lacking some depth in those positions, we think it’s a great option to move him to in into that position.

Um So, you know, then that would leave us with three strikers and when you look at all the guys, um you know, they’ve been, they’ve been doing well when given the opportunity and, um you know, between their club form and what they’ve done for the national team in the, in the past, you know, we, we think it’s a talented group of, of strikers.

Um You’ve talked in the past about how the national team can be a place that um provides an opportunity for a player to, to build, um, or to, to kind of find, um, some positivity in their career.

You know, obviously it’s been an up and down year for GEO didn’t get the, the time he was hoping for forest, how important is this summer for him and, and how much are you and the team trying to embrace, um, this as an opportunity for him to, to kind of take that next step and, and see if he can kind of get things going again ahead of the start of the club season, uh, next year.


You know, Paul, I don’t think there’s any added pressure for geo all he has to do is continue to do what he’s been doing with our team.

Um, and, and he’s performed extremely well over these last nine months.

Um, you know, and, and showing that he’s gonna be an important part of this team.

Um, if you look at the impact in the Nations League, it was, it was, um, really good and, you know, we’re expecting something similar, uh, in this summer and our job as coaches is to put him in the best possible position to perform at a high level and we’ll use the training camp, um, in the friendly games to, to prepare and then for the entire team, um, using, using the, the friendly games and, and the tournament as a measuring stick of what we can achieve together

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