Monday, July 15, 2024

Prediction: USA vs Uruguay

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 1 Jul 2024

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Verdict: Uruguay win

Best odds: 89/50

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Facing a potential early Copa America exit, the USA will conclude group play on Monday by hosting Uruguay at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Following a 2-1 defeat to Panama, the host nation sits just above them in second place on goal difference. Meanwhile, La Celeste are almost assured of a quarterfinal spot after their 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia.

USA

The return of Gregg Berhalter as head coach of the American team has brought inconsistency, as the Yanks now face a challenging path to the Copa America quarterfinals. Their recent 2-1 defeat marked the first time they failed to win a Copa America match after scoring the opener since a 4-1 loss to Argentina in 2007.

In 2024, the team has yet to suffer consecutive defeats, following their only loss (5-1 to Colombia) with a 1-1 draw against Brazil.

Currently, the USA hold a slight edge for second place with a +1 goal differential compared to Panama’s -1. However, they may need to win by more than one goal, considering Bolivia have lost their last four matches by at least two goals.

Historically, the Stars and Stripes have lost four home group stage matches in this tournament, but they won their final group fixture in 2016 when they hosted the event, defeating Paraguay 1-0.

The US are unbeaten in their previous four encounters with Uruguay, including a 0-0 draw in a 2022 friendly at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.

Team News

The US will be without Timothy Weah, who received a straight red card against Panama, and Matt Turner, replaced by Ethan Horvath due to a leg injury, is questionable for the match.

Tim Ream made his 50th career start for the national team this week, Cameron Carter-Vickers debuted in the Copa America, substituting Giovanni Reyna in the second half, and Josh Sargent returned to action for the first time since November 2022.

Folarin Balogun scored the only American goal on matchday two, becoming the second player after Clint Dempsey to score in consecutive Copa America fixtures for the US, with Dempsey achieving this in three straight matches in 2016.

Uruguay

Uruguay had another strong start on matchday two, putting them in a strong position to qualify for the last eight for the third consecutive tournament.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team leads Group C with six points and a +7 goal differential, significantly ahead of the US in second place. They would only be eliminated by a defeat, a Panama win, and a significant goal swing on Monday.

Bielsa will be banned from the touchline for this match because his team came out late for the second half in both of their Copa America games so far.

A win on matchday three would ensure they top their Copa America group for the first time since 2019 and finish the group stage with a perfect record for the first time.

Uruguay have shown quality throughout the month, outscoring their last three opponents by 12-1. However, they have not won a game after conceding in the first half since a 2-1 friendly victory over Hungary in November 2019.

While they have only beaten the US twice, Uruguay won their only previous Copa America meeting 1-0 in back in 1993.

Team News

There were concerns about Ronald Araujo’s status after a knock in Uruguay’s opening match, but he played the full 90 minutes against Bolivia, partnering with Mathias Olivera at centre-back.

Nicolas de la Cruz made his first start of the competition, replacing Giorgian de Arrascaeta. Luis Suarez, Lucas Olaza, and Cristian Olivera also made their first appearances at the 2024 Copa America.

Maximiliano Araujo and Darwin Nunez each scored for the second match in a row, tying them with Folarin Balogun and Lautaro Martinez (two) for the Golden Boot lead. Uruguay’s other goals came from Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Valverde, and Facundo Pellistri.

Conclusion

The pressure of being hosts seems to be affecting the Americans, as they appear defensively vulnerable and inconsistent.

Uruguay face little pressure heading into this fixture, but with Bielsa at the helm, expect them to play aggressively and capitalize on their chances.

Verdict: Uruguay win

Best odds: 89/50

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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