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A Breakdown of USMNT vs. Uruguay Match at Copa América 2024

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Published by GOAL

Published by GOAL

Published by GOAL

In the end, the U.S. men’s national team simply wasn’t good enough. There’s plenty of blame to pass around, but don’t let that distract you from that first sentence.

Regardless of the reasons why it happened, how it happened and who caused it to happen, the USMNT is out of the Copa America, and it’s their own fault.

The Copa America run died at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night. It ended thanks to a 1-0 Uruguay win which, paired with Panama’s 3-1 win over Bolivia, sealed the USMNT’s fate. Realistically, it was sealed just a bit in Atlanta on Thursday, when this chaos really began. The U.S. dug themselves into a hole they couldn’t play their way out of and making it worse is the fact that they never came particularly close.

Monday night was pure chaos from the opening whistle. Referee Kevin Ortega was simply horrific. Tackles flew in everywhere, frustration built on both sides and, for a while there, it was bedlam in Kansas City.

But, in the midst of that chaos, the U.S. never broke through. Uruguay did, of course, albeit controversially as Mathias Olivera’s goal was ruled onside. The U.S. should have no complaints. In the end, they mustered just a few shots and no clear-cut chances.

That, just as much as bad refereeing, was the cause of their undoing. The U.S. stared down adversity and blinked, showing that this team and this program may not have come as far as even they had believed. This Copa America was a failure, and it was the USMNT’s own doing.

U.S. Soccer will have to reckon with that fact in the coming days and weeks. Coach Gregg Berhalter’s job is on the line. These players will have to take a long look in the mirror while reassessing their “Golden Generation” label. From top to bottom, questions will have to be answered. This was a failure that falls on just about everyone involved. It wasn’t good enough, and everyone knows it.

GOAL rates the USMNT’s players from Arrowhead Stadium.

Goalkeeper & Defense

Chris Richards USMNT Copa America 2024

Matt Turner (6/10):

Didn’t quite look himself due to his injury and his distribution was a bit rough as a result. Could he have done better on the goal? Possibly, as his initial save fell right to Olivera.

Antonee Robinson (7/10):

Just does everything well. Battled hard against Manchester United starlet Facundo Pellistri, frustrating him throughout. Was one of the only players that can leave with his head held high.

Tim Ream (6/10):

Bailed the USMNT out several times, but needed to better on Uruguay’s goal. If this is his goodbye, he went out fighting as he always did.

Chris Richards (5/10):

Had had a tough tournament, and this one wasn’t much better. Had a few nervy moments defensively and struggled a bit with the ball at his feet.

Joe Scally (7/10):

Was absolutely mauled several times, but kept on going. A valiant effort, even if it was an ugly one on occasion.

Midfield

Weston McKennie USMNT 2024

Tyler Adams (6/10):

Got a questionable yellow midway through the first half. Never shied away from things, though, as he walked the line well enough.

Yunus Musah (5/10):

Had a some trademark moments on the ball, but they were few and far between. Never really scared the Uruguay defense, which is something the U.S. really needed from him.

Weston McKennie (5/10):

Had two decent looks at goal, but wasn’t able to figure out how to put either in the net. Didn’t do nearly enough to help the U.S. win the midfield battle, either.

Attack

Christian Pulisic USMNT Copa America

Christian Pulisic (6/10):

Worked hard and, for a while, it seemed the decision to move him to the right was a masterstroke. Just wasn’t quite goal dangerous enough, though, as he and his teammates struggled to create anything substantial.

Folarin Balogun (6/10):

Looked really good, but wasn’t able to shake off a first-half injury after several rough collisions. Extremely unfortunate for a player that has arguably been the USMNT’s best this tournament.

Gio Reyna (6/10):

For most of the match, it looked like the USMNT’s best chances at goal were going to come from Reyna. He created a few half-chances, but never really that clear-cut one.

Subs & Manager

Gregg Berhalter USMNT 2024

Ricardo Pepi (5/10):

Came on to replace the injured Balogun. Held up the ball a few times, but was never really a threat to score.

Josh Sargent (5/10):

Was the first of the USMNT’s big pushes from the substitute bench. Got on the ball only a few times, though, with his best moment coming on a deflected cross with about 10 minutes left.

Haji Wright (5/10):

Had one fantastic chance, but it was blocked away. Should he have laid it off to Pepi?

Malik Tillman (N/A):

A last-gasp sub when the game was already gone.

Gregg Berhalter (4/10):

It was yet another night in which just about everything went against the U.S., but you can’t blame the referee for this loss. The U.S. simply didn’t generate any meaningful chances, which, ultimately, will come down to the coach. What happens next? We’ll find out soon enough.