U.S. Men’s National Team Exits 2024 Copa América After Hard-Fought 1-0 Defeat to Uruguay

USA Drops Tightly-Contested Match After Controversial Second-Half Free Kick Goal
Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams fight for the ball against a player for the Uruguay National Team during a July 1 Copa America match
Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams fight for the ball against a player for the Uruguay National Team during a July 1 Copa America match

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 1, 2024) - 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.

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.

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.

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.


URU — Mathías Olivera, 66th minute: A bending Uruguay free kick from the right channel was headed sharply toward goal by center back Ronald Araújo. Matt Turner dove to his right and parried the ball away, but Olivera was first to the rebound and bundled it back over the line. The goal stood after a lengthy VAR review. USA 0, URU 1 FINAL


  • The USA is now 2W-3L-4D all-time against Uruguay.
  • Haji Wright and Malik Tillman entered the match as second-half substitutes, making their first appearances in Copa América play.
  • Gregg Berhalter made one change to the lineup that faced Panama on Thursday, with Yunus Musah making his first start of the tournament in replacement of suspended attacker Tim Weah.
  • Musah (21 years, 215 days) became the youngest USMNT player to earn 25 caps in official competition, beating Jozy Altidore, who was 21 years, 220 days when he earned his 25th competitive appearance on June 14, 2011 against Guadeloupe in the Concacaf Gold Cup.
  • Christian Pulisic became the 15th USMNT player to earn 50 competitive appearances. At 25 years, 287 days, he is the second youngest to do so after Landon Donovan (25 years, 100 days) on June 12, 2007 against El Salvador in the Gold Cup.
  • Pulisic also captained the USMNT for the 26th time tonight. The USA is 17W-5L-4D when Pulisic wears the armband.
  • Gregg Berhalter is 44W-17L-13D in 74 matches as USMNT head coach and 29-9-7 in 45 matches in official competition.
  • Today’s Starting XI had an average age of 25 years, 255 days.
  • The Starting XI averaged 39 caps and 24 appearances in official competition.


Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Uruguay
Date: July 1, 2024
Competition: 2024 Copa América – Group C
Venue: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.
Attendance: 55,460
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. local / 9:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 78 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
URU 0 1 1
URU - Mathías Olivera 66th minute

USA: 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

URU: 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

Stats Summary: USA / URU
Shots: 8 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 12
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tyler Adams (Caution) 17th minute
USA – Chris Richards (Caution) 33
URU - Darwin Núñez (Caution) 45

Referee: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Michel Orue (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Atoche (PER)
Fourth Official: Augusto Menendez (PER)
Fifth Official: Jose Antelo (BOL)
VAR: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
AVAR: Bryan Loayza (ECU)