US ready to confront South American powerhouse Uruguay as their Copa America fate hangs in the balance

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Panama Players celebrates with the teammates

The fate of the U.S. in the Copa America tournament hinges on their match against Uruguay on Monday night.

Similarly, Gregg Berhalter’s future as coach of the American team could also be determined by this game.

Following a humiliating defeat to Panama, where Timmy Weah’s red card left them a man down for most of the match and their defense faltered at the end, the U.S. finds itself in a tough spot.

While there are other ways for them to progress from Group C without necessarily beating the strong South American team at Arrowhead Stadium, winning would be the least stressful path for the host nation to reach the knockout stages.

“We’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves as staff and players in terms of how we perform,” said Berhalter on Sunday. “External pressures are beyond our control. My focus right now is preparing the team to play confidently and have a strong showing.”

Gregg Berhalter looks onto the ground

Many people are closely watching Berhalter’s tenure with the national team.

He was reappointed last year with the expectation that he would guide the U.S. through Copa America and into the 2026 World Cup, which they will host. However, Berhalter has faced criticism for some time, which intensified after Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Panama in Atlanta.

The defeat leaves the U.S. with three potential paths to advance, none of them ideal: defeat Uruguay and hope to win the tiebreaker on goal difference if Panama beats Bolivia; draw with Uruguay and rely on Panama and Bolivia drawing or Panama losing; or lose to Uruguay, hope Bolivia defeats Panama, and then win the tiebreaker on goal difference.


By Christopher Kamila

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