USA striker Josh Sargent an injury doubt for Copa América

United States men’s national team striker Josh Sargent will miss Saturday’s friendly against Colombia — and possibly the entire Copa América — with what manager Gregg Berhalter called a “nagging foot injury.”

Berhalter said Friday that Sargent has been training on the field and in the gym in a bid to be fit enough to play.

“We’ve been unloading him, then giving him some more, and then we’ve been testing him just to see where he is at,” Berhalter said in a Friday media availability. “And for us it’s about how do we get him ready and prepared in a good way and then make a decision if he’ll be available.”

Berhalter added: “We’ll have to see if he makes it for the Brazil game and then we’ll have to make a decision if he makes it on the Copa América roster.”

Sargent scored 16 goals in 26 league games for Norwich City in England’s second-tier Championship this past season after missing four months of action following ankle surgery last August. Folarin Balogun, Ricardo Pepi and Haji Wright are the other forwards on the U.S. roster.

Each team has until June 12 to confirm its final roster for the tournament.

The right back position remains one of the bigger question marks for the team. Usual starter Sergiño Dest is out after tearing his ACL. That leaves Joe Scally and Shaq Moore as candidates to replace him, though if Berhalter opts for a five-player back line, Tim Weah could also feature in that part of the field.

“We’ll try different looks. We’re certainly going to give the natural right backs an opportunity in these games and then we’ll perhaps look at some other options,” Berhalter said.

“We’ve been able to see so far in camp the performances of our right backs, but also the other players, and really just taking it game by game, opponent by opponent.”

Following the match against Colombia, the U.S. will face powerhouse Brazil in Orlando on June 12. Both friendlies will serve as tune-ups ahead of the U.S. beginning its Copa América campaign on home soil against Bolivia on June 23.

“I think we’re looking for our performances to give us information of where we’re at,” Berhalter said. “We know we’re playing two top South American teams and we’re going to learn a lot both about our group and our opponents in these two games.

“But for us it’s about how do we go out in the field and have a good level of performance, how do we go out in the field and compete and then get the entire group ready and fit for Copa América.”


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