Monday, July 15, 2024

United States v Uruguay: Confidence returning ahead of crunch Copa America clash, claims Adams

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Jun 2024

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Tyler Adams says the confidence has returned to the United States’ camp in the wake of their shock defeat to Panama.

The USA lost 2-1 in Atlanta on Thursday, with Panama taking advantage after Timothy Weah was sent off early on.

That defeat leaves the Copa America hosts in a perilous position in Group C. They are ahead of Panama on goal difference, but the Stars and Stripes must play in-form Uruguay in their last match, while Panama face Bolivia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.

But in spite of the pressure on Gregg Berhalter’s team ahead of Monday’s encounter with Marcelo Bielsa’s side, Adams says there is a positive mood in the camp.

“We’re all confident again, you know, when we have 11 players on the field that we can go toe to toe with anybody,” Adams told reporters.

“The training was good today. I think we saw the intensity. And we’re going to need that from the first minute against Uruguay.”

Antonee Robinson is well aware of the stakes.

“It’s definitely going to come down to a massive effort from the team,” he said.

“I mean, if we’re looking at realistically, there’s a chance that this is our last game in the tournament, so there’s no reason to hold anything back. We’re all going to have to give everything in this game.”

Uruguay hammered Bolivia 5-0 in their last outing, with Bielsa’s team highly likely to top the group, albeit that could result in a last-16 meeting with Brazil, who are second in Group D.

Darwin Nunez is the focal point of Uruguay’s attack under Bielsa, though the former Leeds United coach is not concerned with the forward’s sometimes-erratic finishing.

“All players who are consistent goal scorers know how to finish,” Bielsa said.

“But then they are also human and so they will have times where that capacity will be more evident and other times when it is less evident.

“Darwin is a player who does not need much support. The only thing that concerns me is whether he gets in positions, which he does extraordinarily well, to score, impact games, finish the moves, or choose where to place the shot.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

United States – Folarin Balogun

Former Arsenal attacker Balogun scored a stunner against Panama, and also went close to a sensational second.

With his back-up, Ricardo Pepi, underperforming his 2.27 expected goals (xG), the pressure is on Balogun to lead the USA’s line. He is doing an admirable job so far, with two goals in as many matches, so do not be shocked to see him keep up that form.

Uruguay – Darwin Nunez

Nunez has scored in his first two Copa America matches.

Only four Uruguay players have scored in their first three matches in the competition: Pedro Petrone (1923), Mario Bergara (1959), Vladas Douskas (1959), and Jorge Oyarbide (1967).

MATCH PREDICTION: URUGUAY WIN

The USA might need the points, but the Opta supercomputer is backing Uruguay.

Uruguay have not started with three victories in a row since 1959, when they defeated Ecuador (4-0), Brazil (3-0) and Argentina (5-0).

These teams will face each other in the Copa America for the first time since 1993, when Uruguay won 1-0.

La Celeste have won four of their last five matches against CONCACAF opponents in the competition (1L), and kept a clean sheet in three of those five games.

Uruguay’s two victories against the USA were in the only two non-friendly matches they have played (3-0 at the Paris Olympics in 1924 and 1-0 in the 1993 Copa America).

In fact, Uruguay are the only CONMEBOL team that have not been able to beat the United States while playing in North America.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

USA – 21.6%

Uruguay – 56.1%

Draw – 22.3%

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SoccerNews

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