Tyler Adams to play USA vs. Brazil; Josh Sargent out

ORLANDO, Fla. — United States captain Tyler Adams will be available in a limited role for the friendly game against Brazil on Wednesday but forward Josh Sargent will miss his second straight match ahead of the Copa América, despite coach Gregg Berhalter saying that the forward is “progressing well.”

Adams, 25, played just one club match from March 2023 until this past March 13 because of a torn right hamstring that needed surgery. After returning to play two matches for Bournemouth in March, the midfielder was limited by back spasms to one game over the rest of the season, an 11-minute appearance on May 11.

“Tyler will be available to play limited minutes and my guess is it’s under 45 minutes that he’s able to play,” Berhalter said during a media availability Tuesday.

Sargent, 24, scored 16 goals in 26 league games with Norwich in England’s second-tier League Championship but finished the season while playing with foot swelling.

“Josh is progressing well,” Berhalter said. “He won’t take part in this game.”

Berhalter said his team is focusing more on the performance, rather than the result in Wednesday’s friendly.

The match is the second and final preparation game for the U.S. before Copa América, which starts on June 23 for the hosts with a match against Bolívia. The U.S. suffered a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Colombia last Saturday, and Berhalter is keen to see his side rebound, even as it faces the five-time World Cup winners.

“I think that the message to the team after the Colombia game is not chasing a result, [but] chasing a performance,” he said. “So if we look after the game and we see 11 guys, 16 guys performing at eight out of 10 level, that would be enough. Brazil’s a very good team, but for us it’s about how do we perform at our highest level against teams like this?”

Berhalter added: “I think the natural tendency would be to say, ‘OK, now it’s only about the result,’ but the reality is it’s a friendly game. We are preparing for a tournament. We want to gain information on Brazil, and our own players, so we have to be brave.

“We have to continue plan and obviously a lot of pressure from the outside after a 5-1 defeat at home, but for us, again, it’s about preparing this group for Copa América, which is the most important thing.”

Delivering an improved performance starts with making better decisions on the ball. The last 25 minutes of the Colombia match saw the U.S. play into the teeth of the opponent’s defensive pressure, both on the dribble and with their passing.

“We put players in difficult situations,” Berhalter said. “Colombia was man marking in the high zone. We had advantages on the back line that we didn’t exploit and then it’s just movement. We need more players coming to the football. We need more players offering solutions.”

Playing Brazil makes for immense challenge, with Berhalter noting that the proposed starting lineup has one of the world’s best players at every position. And if form holds the two teams could meet later in the Copa América knockout stage.

“I told the boys before in the meeting [that] an opportunity to play Brazil is always memorable,” the U.S. manager said. “And the fact that we may meet them again in the tournament is a really good preparation for us.”

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.