With the tournament only two weeks away, Copa America preparations begin in earnest for the USMNT. To get ready for such a massive event, the Americans will play a pair of big-time friendlies.

Next Wednesday they will be down in Orlando to take on mighty Brazil. But before they do that, they first have a game in the nation’s capital to take on a Colombia team that is playing as well as anybody in the world.

As the USMNT starts their Copa America prep, manager Gregg Berhalter has called in a roster that features most of the key names but also a few surprises. It should also be noted that the roster size for the tournament is 26 players, meaning one player from the current group of 27 will be going home early.

In goal are Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath, and Sean Johnson. On defense, the US has Time Ream, Antonee Robinson, Miles Robinson, and Cameron Carter-Vickers. Sergiño Dest is injured, so Shaq Moore is a surprise call-up to replace him.

The midfield is a list of the usual suspects. Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, and Gio Reyna are all there. Additionally, the Tillman brothers, Malik and Timmy, have been called in as well.

Up top it’s almost an embarrassment of riches with Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, Haji Wright (hero of the Nations League in March), Folarin Balogun, Josh Sargent, and Ricardo Pepi. Earlier this week, Pepi made headlines in an interview saying the goal at Copa America should be to win the tournament and not just use it as a stepping stone for the 2026 World Cup.

Opportunity for the USMNT

This tournament represents a huge opportunity for the USMNT. As their Copa America prep gets underway, many people in the US are beginning to take notice of the team.

Not only will the US be playing in cities they haven’t visited in years, but this Copa America starts a tremendous run of soccer being hosted in the United States. Next year the Club World Cup will be held in the US, followed by the World Cup in 2026. And then Olympic soccer will be played in Los Angeles for the 2028 Games. For soccer to explode further in this country, the US must start taking advantage now.

Colombia roster provides USA preview of potential Copa rivals

Colombia is a team on absolute fire at the moment. Los Cafeteros haven’t lost a game since February of 2022. That’s a stretch of 21 games without a loss. Their manager, Nestor Lorenzo, is something of a coaching novice. Colombia is just the second head coaching job he’s had. Previously, he oversaw Peruvian club Melgar for just over a year in 2021.

The roster called in by Lorenzo is stacked with both quality and experience. In goal is David Ospina with 128 caps. Defenders like Davinson Sanchez, Santiago Arias, and Yerry Mina all have over 40 caps. The midfield features star man James Rodriguez (98 caps and 27 goals) as well as Mateus Uribe (53 caps and 6 goals) and Juan Quintero (34 caps and 4 goals). And among the forwards, the man to watch is Luis Diaz. The Liverpool man has racked up 11 goals in 47 appearances for his country.

Game information

Commanders Field in Landover, MD, is hosting Saturday’s fixture. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. ET. Fans watching from home can tune in on TNT for English-language commentary or Telemundo and Universo for Spanish. Additionally, you can stream the game on Max by using a new seven-day free trial. The game on Tuesday against Brazil is also available on Max.