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Chronicling the USMNT’s heart-pounding evening as their Copa America campaign ends in shock

The United States are out of the Copa America after their 1-0 loss to Uruguay on Monday. Here’s how it all went down.

6 min read
Design: Peyton Gallaher

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hello there, dear reader. 

As I’m writing this, it’s 5:43 PM central time on Monday, July 1st. Compared to you, I’m living in the past right now. You already know what happened to the U.S. men’s national team in their high-stakes Copa America group stage finale. I, however, do not. You, way out there in the future? You’re better than me. Stronger than me. More knowledgeable than me. I’m sure it feels good.

The USMNT’s matchup with Uruguay isn’t the only big game happening in this tournament tonight. Because of the current standings in Group C, Panama’s clash with Bolivia matters quite a bit for the U.S. today. The same goes for Panama as they observe the U.S. vs. Uruguay game.

With so much potential for rollercoaster-like intrigue, I’m ditching the usual instant reaction piece at the final whistle. 

Instead, I’m going to spend my evening chronicling a heart-pounding few hours for the U.S. with their Copa America future — and potentially much more — on the line. We’ll look back at this game and laugh. Or cry. Or do some of both. Regardless, this is my journal from here at Arrowhead Stadium about a historic night for the USMNT.

I’m buckling my seatbelt. I hope you buckled yours. Onwards.

6:44 PM CT: Uruguay’s lineup is here…and it’s unchanged from the one that battered Bolivia a few days ago. This is a first-choice group.

Marcelo Bielsa won’t be on the sidelines tonight, but that doesn’t mean his team is here to do anything other than make a statement. The USMNT would’ve hoped for a rotated group to make their task a little easier tonight. But no such luck.

Uruguay aren’t here to play games. 

6:50 PM CT: The moose is loose, people.

Gregg Berhalter’s lineup is here and it’s Yunus Musah getting the start for the suspended Tim Weah. Adding Musah to the midfield and shifting Gio Reyna higher and towards the right gives U.S. more steel through the center and more press resistance in that part of the field, too. Still, Berhalter went for the more conservative of his options by calling Musah’s name over Haji Wright in the front line.

Will the U.S. have enough firepower to break through Uruguay? Time will tell.

8:00 PM CT: It’s go time! The USMNT’s match with Uruguay has kicked off in the giant stadium down below my seat in the press box, while Panama’s meeting with Bolivia has kicked off on the much smaller computer screen a few inches to my right. Let the drama commence.

8:10 PM CT: The United States look up for this one. It’s been an energetic, combative game from the opening whistle. The USMNT are controlling where the game’s being played, they’re threatening on set pieces, and both Group C games are still level at 0-0. As things stand, the U.S. advance to the quarterfinals, but there’s still lots (and lots and lots) of soccer to be played.

8:22 PM CT: You know how I said there was a lot of soccer to be played? Panama are on the board. It’s 1-0 down in Orlando.

It was only a matter of time until they took the lead against an overmatched Bolivia team. Even without their star man Coco Carrasquilla, Thomas Christiansen’s team entered the evening as heavy favorites against their South American foes. If the score in both games holds, the U.S. are heading home. Well, I guess they’re already home. But you get the idea.

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