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Meet the current and former USL standouts set to feature at the 2024 Copa América

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/19/24, 2:30PM EDT


El Paso’s Waite, San Antonio’s Lambert joined by alumni from Championship, League One across seven nations competing this summer

The United States' Matt Turner, Canada's Tani Oluwaseyi and Jamaica's Jahmali Waite are among the current and former USL Championship and League One players set to represent their countries at the upcoming 2024 Copa América.

The 2024 Copa América kicks off on Thursday night as reigning title-holder Argentina faces Canada to open the group stage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The 16-team tournament brings together every nation from South American federation CONMEBOL and six qualifiers from Concacaf including the United States, Canada and Mexico as they prepare to host the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.

Seven of the nations participating features players who are either currently active in the USL Championship, or previously competed in the Championship and USL League One in their careers.

Here’s a guide to the players to watch with USL ties over the next month.


Canadian forward Tani Oluwaseyi was voted to the 2023 USL Championship All-League Team after recording 17 goals and seven assists for San Antonio FC. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC

Seven members of Canada’s squad have previously appeared in the USL Championship or USL League One, including 2023 All-League Second Team selection Tani Oluwaseyi, who recently made his senior international debut in the side’s contest against France after picking up where he left off on loan with San Antonio FC a season ago with Minnesota United FC this season. The 23-year-old forward recorded 17 goals and seven assists for SAFC in 25 appearances last season, and currently has seven goals and four assists in 15 appearances for the Loons in Major League Soccer this campaign.

Other notable selections
Alphonso Davies, forward
– Youngest goalscorer in USL Championship history. 11 appearances, 679 minutes, 2 goals in USL Championship

Maxime Crépeau, goalkeeper – 2018 USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year. 65 appearances, 5,835 minutes, 19 shutouts, 209 saves overall in league

Richie Laryea, defender – 35 appearances, 2,607 minutes, 3 goals, 4 assists in USL Championship

Dayne St. Clair, goalkeeper – 5 appearances, 450 minutes, 3 shutouts, 12 saves in USL Championship; 5 appearances, 450 minutes, 1 shutout, five saves in USL League One

Jacob Shaffelburg, forward – 16 appearances, 1,296 minutes, 2 goals, 3 assists in USL League One

Costa Rica

The current path for Costa Rica international Ariel Lassiter began nine years ago when he was signed by the LA Galaxy II for their second season, and the speedy forward quickly showed his potential to reach the top. In his first season with Los Dos he recorded 11 goals in the regular season and then four times in the playoffs as the side won the Western Conference title before falling in extra time in the USL Championship Final.

Lassiter’s Championship career saw him record 30 goals and six assists across 58 regular season appearances and 3,965 minutes of action. Now with Club de Foot Montreal, he’s made more than 20 appearances at the senior level for Costa Rica. 


El Paso Locomotive FC goalkeeper Jamali Waite could be Jamaica's starter at the 2024 Copa América, putting him on the biggest stage of his career so far. | Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC

The two active USL Championship players at Copa América will suit up for the Reggae Boyz, with El Paso Locomotive FC goalkeeper Jahmali Waite and San Antonio FC midfielder Kevon Lambert each selected for the tournament.

The spotlight could fall on Waite in the group stage. The 25-year-old started each of the country’s World Cup Qualifying victories two weeks ago, and with the Philadelphia Union’s Andre Blake still sidelined the Locomotive shot-stopper could retain his place in goal for the biggest opportunity of his career so far. Waite has made 59 appearances in the Championship over his career, recording 114 saves and 18 shutouts.

Other notable selections
Damion Lowe, defender
– 36 appearances, 3,068 minutes, 2 goals in the USL Championship

Kevon Lambert, midfielder – 160 appearances, 13,459 minutes, 15 goals, 10 assists in the USL Championship


2023 USL Championship title winner Carlos Harvey has been selected in Panama’s squad for the Copa América, with the former Phoenix Rising FC midfielder having recorded 85 regular season appearances in the Championship and recording 11 goals and five assists in 6,234 minutes of action prior to his transfer this offseason to Minnesota United FC in Major League Soccer.


Paraguay goalkeeper Carlos Coronel’s first minutes in the United States came in the USL Championship, where he recorded 36 saves across eight appearances for Bethlehem Steel FC during the 2019 season. Now with the New York Red Bulls, he’s made nine appearances for Paraguay at the senior international level.

United States

Former Richmond Kickers goalkeeper Matt Turner is set to be the United States' starter at the 2024 Copa América as the side looks to make a run in the tournament. | Photo courtesy Brian L. Zimmerman / Richmond Kickers

Six players in the United States’ squad for Copa América have previously competed in the USL Championship and League One, with 2016 Championship title winner Tyler Adams leading the contingent with 29 appearances in the league. The Championship alum with the biggest spotlight on him going into the tournament, however, may be goalkeeper Matt Turner, who spent his first two professional seasons on loan with the Richmond Kickers before his ascent to the Premier League and USMNT.

Turner made 27 appearances for the Kickers, recording 81 saves and seven shutouts. Combined with his two seasons with Jersey Express in USL League Two – which Turner credits in guiding his path to the professional ranks – the 29-year-old made more than 50 appearances in the USL on the way to his current success.

Other notable selections
Tyler Adams, midfielder
– 2016 USL Championship title winner. 29 appearances, 2,092 minutes, 1 assist in the USL Championship

Ricardo Pepi, forward – 2019 USL League One All-League Team. 13 appearances, 1,094 minutes, 9 goals, 1 assist, first hat trick in League One history.

Brenden Aaronson, forward – 21 appearances, 1,082 minutes, 1 goal, 5 assists in the USL Championship.

Miles Robinson, defender – 20 appearances, 1,724 minutes, 2 goals in the USL Championship

Mark McKenzie, defender – 17 appearances, 1,372 minutes in the USL Championship


Now competing in Ligue 1 for Toulouse FC, midfielder Cristian Cásseres Jr. began his path across the Atlantic Ocean in the USL Championship with the New York Red Bulls II, where he made 27 appearances and logged 1,914 minutes while recording three goals and two assists during the club’s runs to the postseason in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

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