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Jun 30, 2024 12:26 pm

USMNT focuses on Uruguay in seeking path to Copa America quarterfinals

tyler adams

There are several scenarios where the U.S. men’s national team can advance out of Group C to the quarterfinals of Copa America 2024.

But for the Americans, their thoughts are only defeating Uruguay in Kansas City on Monday with the intent of avoiding a catastrophic exit.

“I’d like to think that if we win that, we will be going through, so give ourselves the best chance and go from there,” defender Antonee Robinson said.

No team in the group has qualified (top two advance) or been eliminated, even Bolivia, which has lost 2-0 to the United States and 5-0 to Uruguay (2-0-0), which leads with six points followed by the U.S. (1-1-0) and Panama (1-1-0) with three points.

The U.S. may be without goalkeeper Matt Turner, who sustained a leg injury in a collision early in the Panama match and was replaced at halftime by Ethan Horvath. Turner was listed as day-to-day on Saturday.

The clearest path for the U.S. is to at least equal what Panama does vs. Bolivia (0-2-0, 0 points). Uruguay, a 15-time Copa America champion, has a large advantage in the first tiebreaker — goal differential. Uruguay is plus-7, the U.S. plus-1 and Panama minus-1.

If the U.S. and Panama win, the Americans must hope the Panamanians don’t rout a weak Bolivian squad and make up the difference.

“If we take care of business on the day and we don’t go through, then that’s unfortunately what will be will be,” Robinson said. “Then we have to look back to the fact that we let ourselves down in the previous game.”

The U.S. is in this predicament because of its stunning 2-1 loss to Panama on Thursday. Tim Weah was issued a red card in the 18th minute and received a two-match ban.

Midfielder Tyler Adams said the U.S. can draw on the 2022 World Cup when the Americans defeated Iran 1-0 with a spot in the knockout round on the line for each.

“It’s a similar situation now, obviously, a win in the best circumstances to go into the next round,” he said. “But we’re all confident when we have 11 players on the field that we can go toe-to-toe with anybody.”

–Field Level Media

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