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Sargent returns to US squad for pre-COPA friendlies

Forward Haji Wright is among 27 players called up for the United States' friendlies against <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/colombia-women/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Colombia;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Colombia</a> and <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/brazil-women/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Brazil;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Brazil</a> before its Copa America campaign begins in June (Click Thompson)

Forward Josh Sargent returns to the US squad named Monday by manager Gregg Berhalter for friendlies against Colombia and Brazil, the team's final warm-up matches before he names a squad for the Copa America.

Sargent, who scored 16 goals in 28 appearances for Norwich in the English Championship this season, is in line for his first US camp appearance since the 2022 World Cup after injury forced him to withdraw from the Nations League Final camp in March.

Sargent was sidelined four months after ankle surgery in August, and limped off at halftime after tweaking his ankle in Norwich's Championship playoff against Leeds on Thursday.

Berhalter said Sargent had some swelling that US team medical staff would address.

The 27-player squad features regular starters Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie.

Sargent's return further swells Berhalter's pool of forwards, which includes Folarin Balogun, Ricardo Pepi and Haji Wright.

Berhalter said on Monday that he sees Wright, who has scored 16 goals and assisted seven more this season for Championship side Coventry and scored an injury-time winner in the United States' win over Jamaica in the Nations League semi-finals, playing a winger role.

"So, then that would leave us with three strikers, and when you look at all the guys, they've been doing well when given the opportunity," Berhalter said. "Between their club form and what they've done for the national team in the past, we think it's a talented group of strikers."

The Americans will still be without defender Sergino Dest, who tore a knee ligament training with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in April.

The United States will play Colombia on June 8 at Commanders Field outside Washington.

They play Brazil in Orlando, Florida, on June 12.

Following the friendlies, Berhalter will select the final squad for the Copa America, which is being held in the United States from June 20-July 14.

This year's Copa America -- South American football's regional championship -- is being staged entirely in the United States and has been expanded to 16 teams to include six teams from the North and Central American region.

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