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Christian Pulisic

United States knocked out of Copa América after heartbreaking loss to Uruguay

The United States men’s national soccer team did not make it out of Group C in Copa América, as they fell to Uruguay, 1-0, in a must-win game to reach the knockout stage. 

This is a disappointing end for the USMNT, a team that was expected to be among the top two teams in the group, which included Bolivia and Panama. 

However, after a surprising loss to Panama last week, the U.S. entered Monday night’s match at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City with a couple scenarios where they could get out. 

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Tyler Adams of United States reacts during the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 Group C match between United States and Uruguay at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on July 01, 2024 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

The first, of course, was winning the match against Uruguay, which would’ve had Panama beaten in goal differential unless they demolished Bolivia in their final group stage match. The second option was a draw in the Panama-Bolivia match, which again would’ve had the U.S. advancing by goal differential. 

Things were looking good with Bolivia scoring its first goal of the entire tournament in the second half to tie things 1-1, while the U.S. and Uruguay were locked at 0-0. 

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However, everything changed when a set piece saw Mathias Olivera kicking in a deflection from U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner, who made a save on an initial header toward the net. Referees would check to see if Olivera was offside, but the goal was eventually upheld. 

Then, as Panama started pouring in more goals, the U.S. found themselves in desperation mode, needing a 2-1 victory to advance out of the group stage. 

Uruguay celebrates goal

Mathias Olivera of Uruguay celebrates with teammates after scoring the team’s first goal during the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 Group C match between United States and Uruguay at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on July 01, 2024 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Uruguay, buttoned up defensively all match, allowed one moment for the U.S. when substitute Haji Wright looked to have a shot, but two defenders crashed in during stoppage time to knock it away. 

Ricardo Pepi was calling for the ball to the side of Wright, and he was wide open but never received the pass. 

In the end, the U.S. only had three shots on goal and eight shots total, while Uruguay won the possession margin 51% to 49%. 

Christian Pulisic walks on field

Christian Pulisic of United States reacts as he leaves the pitch after losing the CONMEBOL Copa America USA 2024 Group C match between Panama and United States at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

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Instead of wondering who the U.S. would see in the knockout stage, the U.S. Soccer Federation will now need to determine if head coach Gregg Berhalter, who some already put on the hot seat entering this crucial summer, should remain in place with the 2026 World Cup looming in the future. 

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