USA soccer’s Copa America scenarios: What USMNT must do vs. Uruguay to advance from group and into quarters

USA soccer’s Copa America scenarios: What USMNT must do vs. Uruguay to advance from group and into quarters

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After losing 2-1 to Panama in their second game at the Copa America, Group C has become quite tough for the United States men’s national team. They still sit second in the group due to goal difference but after Uruguay defeated Bolivia, as expected, it sets up an interesting scenario for Monday. The United States will face Uruguay after the South Americans already qualified for the knockout rounds while Panama will face Bolivia. But what will need to happen for the Red White and Blue to advance to the knockout stages?

Group C Standings

1

Uruguay

2

2

0

0

8

1

+7

6

2

United States

2

1

0

1

3

2

+1

3

3

Panama

2

1

0

1

3

4

-1

3

4

Bolivia

2

0

0

2

0

7

-7

0

Group C scenarios for USA soccer

  • With a United States victory: They will qualify for the knockout stages as long as Panma draw or lose. If Panama win, the United States can still qualify for the knockouts but they will need to have a better goal difference than Panama. As it stands, the U.S. have a two-goal advantage. 
  • With a United States tie: The United States will only advance with a Panama draw or loss.
  • With a United States loss: The United States will only advance with a Panama loss and if they have a better goal difference than Panama. If the U.S. lose 4-0, and Panama lose 1-0, Panama advance. 

With how things are set for the final day of play, the United States will realistically need to defeat Uruguay while scoring multiple goals. If they do that, there’s an outside chance of finishing first in the group but as Bolivia have conceded two or more goals in their matches played so far, it’s safe to expect Panama to score two goals which the USMNT would need to at least match.

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Copa America tiebreakers

If two teams are level on points following the group stage, it’s always important to take a look at the tiebreakers as there can be slight differences in each tournament for when certain rules are applied for advancement. Below is how Copa America applies tiebreakers:

  1. The team with the better goal difference in all group stage matches
  2. The team with the greater number of goals scored in all group-stage matches
  3. Head-to-head between the two teams who are tied
  4. Fewer red cards
  5. Fewer yellow cards
  6. Drawing of lots

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