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USMNT Crash Out Of Copa America

The U.S. Men’s National Team concluded its 2024 Copa América journey with a contentious and competitive 1-0 loss to South American power Uruguay on Monday evening. The USA finished Group C play on three points (1W-2L-0D) and in third place, behind both Uruguay (3W-0L-0D; 9 pts.) and Panama (2-W-1L-0D). Only the top two sides earned passage to the tournament quarterfinals.

Uruguay midfielder Federico Valverde and USMNT defender Chris Richards
Uruguay midfielder Federico Valverde (15) helps United States defender Chris Richards (3) to his feet after a Copa America match at Arrowhead Stadium. Photo: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

USA 0 Uruguay 1

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For a few minutes during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, the U.S. was in position to advance. But Uruguay’s Mathías Olivera netted a controversial goal off a 66th-minute set piece to take a lead the South Americans would not relinquish. Meanwhile, in Orlando, Fla., Panama took charge against Bolivia in its Group C finale. Needing two goals to climb the standings, the USA couldn’t find an answer for Uruguay’s frenetic pressure and stout defense.

Forced by Tim Weah’s red-card suspension to make at least one change to his starting lineup, head coach Gregg Berhalter opted on Monday to reinstall the midfield trio that shepherded the USA to the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup: Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah. It was Musah’s first start of the Copa América. Gio Reyna, who’d been deployed in midfield in previous group-stage games against Bolivia and Panama, moved up to left wing. Berhalter’s back four remained constant and goalkeeper Matt Turner returned to net after exiting the Panama loss with a leg contusion.

First Half

The USMNT faced a Uruguay side at full strength. Despite wins its first two games, La Celeste still wasn’t assured of a quarterfinal berth when Monday’s games kicked off. Consequently, head coach Marcelo Bielsa, who was serving a one-game suspension, fielded the same XI that started the 5-0 rout of Bolivia four days earlier.


Nevertheless, the Americans started the game brightly, showing an eagerness to win loose balls and play passes into Uruguay’s defensive third. In the 13th minute, Reyna hit a dangerous cross that goalkeeper Sergio Rochet snatched just before it reached U.S. striker Folarin Balogun, and defender Antonee Robinson put a header on target. But that rhythm would be short-lived, as tactical fouls, collisions and the referee’s whistle impacted the flow and limited scoring chances on both sides. Uruguay’s Maximiliano Araújo and Balogun both departed with injuries before intermission.

USMNT forward Haji Wright
USMNT forward Haji Wright (19) is tackled by Uruguay midfielder Nahitan Nandez (8). Photo: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Second Half

The USA’s fortunes rose and fell in the second half. Just after the hour mark, many of the 55,460 fans in the stands at Arrowhead, as well as those in uniform, became aware that Bolivia had drawn level with Panama. At that point, a 0-0 draw with Uruguay would have been enough to send the USMNT through to the knockout stage. But a few minutes later, the 15-time Copa América champion was in front. FC Barcelona defender Ronald Araújo hit a well-placed header that forced a diving save from Turner. But La Celeste’s other center back, Olivera, reached the rebound first. It appeared Olivera might have been slightly offside when Araújo made contact, but the VAR upheld the goal after several minutes of review.


Panama scored a second in Orlando shortly thereafter, leaving the USA with no choice but to go for the come-from-behind win. Berhalter inserted attackers Josh Sargent and Haji Wright and despite spells of threatening possession and a few frantic moments in the Uruguay penalty area, the hosts couldn’t break through. Wright’s deflected shot in the 87th, which was covered up by Rochet, proved to be the most promising chance. The U.S. managed eight shots overall, with three on target.


With their 2024 Copa América concluded, the USMNT will reconvene in early September for home friendlies against Concacaf rival Canada (Sept. 7 in Kansas City, Kan.) and newly crowned OFC Nations Cup winner New Zealand (Sept. 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio). The USA’s next major tournament is the 2025 Concacaf Gold Cup, at which it will seek its eighth regional championship.

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Line Ups


1-Matt Turner; 22-Joe Scally (19-Haji Wright, 79), 3-Chris Richards, 13-Tim Ream (17-Malik Tillman, 89), 5-Antonee Robinson; 8-Weston McKennie, 4-Tyler Adams, 6-Yunus Musah (26-Josh Sargent, 72); 10-Christian Pulisic (Capt.), 20-Folarin Balogun (9-Ricardo Pepi, 41), 7-Gio Reyna

Substitutes: 18-Ethan Horvath, 25-Sean Johnson, 2-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 11-Brenden Aaronson, 12-Miles Robinson, 14-Luca de la Torre, 15-Johnny Cardoso, 16-Shaq Moore, 23-Kristoffer Lund, 24-Mark McKenzie

Suspended: 21-Tim Weah

Head coach: Gregg Berhalter



1- Sergio Rochet; 8-Nahitan Nández, 4-Ronald Araújo, 16-Mathías Olivera, 17-Matías Viña (2-José María Giménez, 72); 5-Manuel Ugarte (3-Sebastián Cáceres, 89), 15-Federico Valverde; 11-Facundo Pellistri,7-Nicolás de la Cruz (6-Rodrigo Bentancur, 79), 20-Maximiliano Araújo; 19-Darwin Núñez (9-Luis Suárez, 89)

Substitutes: 14-Agustín Canobbio, 21-Emiliano Martínez, 24-Lucas Olaza, 18-Brian Rodríguez, 10-Giorgian de Arrascaeta, 12-Franco Israel, 23-Santiago Mele, 22-Nicolás Marichal, 26-Brian Ocampo, 13-Gullermo Varela

Head coach: Marcelo Bielsa

United States defender Tim Ream
Uruguay defender Ronald Araujo (4) and United States defender Tim Ream (13) during the second half. Photo: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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