USMNT vs. Colombia: Top Storylines and Predictions for 2024 Friendly

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The United States men’s national team’s final preparations for the 2024 Copa America start on Saturday against Colombia.

Gregg Berhalter’s side has two friendlies set up with South American sides in the next week ahead of their participation in the tournament on home soil.

The next month will be vital for Christian Pulisic and Co. to see where they stand against some of the best nations in the western hemisphere.

The USMNT does not have to go through World Cup qualifying as a co-host of the 2026 event, so there’s more pressure to get things right at the Copa to make progress leading into the World Cup.

USMNT vs. Colombia Info

Date: Saturday, June 8

Start Time: 5:30 p.m. ET

TV: TNT

Live Stream: Max

Preview and Top Storylines

Everything the USMNT does in the short term is in preparation for the Copa America, the South American tournament that will be held on American soil this summer.

The long-term scope is on the World Cup in two years. The two friendlies against Colombia and Brazil, as well as the Copa itself, will serve as benchmarks for where the Americans stand against the best South American national teams.

Forward play has been one of the bigger issues during Berhalter’s tenure and he will be one forward down for Saturday’s match at Commanders Field in Landover, Maryland.

Josh Sargent is out with a foot injury and he may miss the Copa. His status for the tournament is still to be determined.

That leaves the USMNT with Haji Wright, Ricardo Pepi and Folarin Balogun as the true striker options on the current roster. Timothy Weah, Brenden Aaronson and Christian Pulisic are all listed as forwards in the squad, but all of them are more effective in support roles around a No. 9.

Wright scored 16 goals in the English Championship with Coventry City this past season. That was two more tallies than Pepi and Balogun combined for at PSV Eindhoven and Monaco.

Wright should get a start based on form and he should have plenty of firepower behind him, led by Pulisic.

Berhalter has the opportunity to start his first-choice midfield of Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah and Tyler Adams if he wants. That did not seem like a possibility for most of the European club season since Adams missed a ton of time with injuries.

The USMNT manager could also mix in Luca de la Torre or Johnny Cardoso into midfield to deal with Colombia’s talented attack, led by Liverpool’s Luis Diaz.

Colombia has not lost in the last calendar year between friendlies and 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Los Cafeteros have scored at least once in 10 of their last 12 games.

Colombia will test a USMNT defense that allowed three goals in the last four competitive games in the Concacaf Nations League.

The Americans will take a step up from their normal level of competition in the next month, and if they are competitive and win a few games, some nerves will be eased about how the team’s game translates to the World Cup.

A clean sheet against Colombia would be a terrific first step for the USMNT on its summer journey. A win would be even more impressive against a Colombia side that finished third at two of the last three Copa Americas.

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