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Yunus Musah: We want to test ourselves against the best ahead of Copa América

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If things go as planned for USMNT, this summer may come to be viewed as a watershed moment for soccer in the United States.

The US is hosting Copa América later this month, before going on to host next year’s Club World Cup and, most importantly, the FIFA World Cup in 2026. The eyes of the world will be on the United States and, consequently, the fortunes of USMNT.

As Gregg Berhalter’s team continues preparations for this summer’s Copa América they will face Colombia and Brazil in the pre-tournament friendlies, two daunting fixtures against two of the continent’s best. Colombia are one of the world’s most in-form national teams, having recently beaten Brazil and Spain. Brazil, in turn, are still getting used to life under new head coach Dorival Junior but they boast some of the world’s finest talents, including Real Madrid’s Ballon d’Or contender Vincius Junior.

It’s a demanding brace of ‘warm-up’ fixtures for USMNT as they embark on a crucial period for soccer in the USMNT. Speaking to AS USA ahead of this summer’s action, USMNT and AC Milan star Yunus Musah insisted that he’s relishing the challenge.

“Testing ourselves against the best is something really important for us because you’re only going to get better playing against the best,” Musah explained. “Before Copa América that’s great, testing ourselves against these teams to see what we need to work on and also to try to win these game, build momentum. It’s going to be a great experience to face these top players.”

Yunus Musah: We want to test ourselves against the best ahead of Copa América

Physical Colombia will provide a real battle for USMNT

Colombia failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup but they look reborn under head coach Nestor Lorenzo. He took over in the summer of 2022 and has not lost a single Game with the national team, racking up 13 wins and five draws from his 18 Games. They boast Liverpool’s Luis Diaz, Aston Villa forward Jhon Duran and former Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, along with an imperious, combative backline. Speaking ahead of their meeting, Musah outlined the challenge that Colombia poses.

“I think Colombia is a very difficult opponent, every game they play with a lot of intensity. They are very physical, especially in the defence, and I think they a lot of talent in attack too,” he continued. “This game is very important for us ahead of Copa América, to see how we are looking.”

Yunus Musah: We want to test ourselves against the best ahead of Copa América

TeaMMAte Cameron Carter-Vickers comes into this’ summer’s action off the back of a title-winning campaign with Scottish giants Celtic and knows what it takes to perform in big Games. A victory against Colombia would provide real momentum going into Copa América but he remains focused on the performance level, seeing it as a chance to fine-tune the team ahead of the real action.

“Obviously Colombia are a good team with great players, playing at big clubs around the world. For us it’s just about trying to find a good performance level and trying to make sure that we find the way we want to play heading into the tournament. It’s about trying to maximise, to learn the most over the course of these games.”

With games against such strong opponents coming up USMNT are clearly aiming to go deep in this summer’s Copa América. The last time the United States hosted this competition, eight years ago, they made a historic run to the semi-finals. This time around, with a squad stuffed with players from the world’s most illustrious clubs, there is a real belief that this can be the start of something special.

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