USA's predicted lineup vs. Uruguay: Brenden Aaronson in projected XI, but will Tyler Adams be there?

After Tim Weah picked up a suspension in the United States’ 2-1 loss to Panama, for the first time during Copa America, Gregg Berhalter will be forced into making a change to his starting XI. Rolling out the same team for that match after defeating Bolivia, it was expected to also brush aside Panama but soccer can be a funny game sometimes. The United States now face a win-or-go-home scenario against Uruguay and even if they do win, they still aren’t guaranteed to make it to the quarterfinals of Copa America, making this a critical match for Gregg Berhalter’s future. 

Speaking about who could replace Weah in the XI, here’s what Berhalter had to say: 

“We’ll have options. We have a number of players that can play in the winger position and we’ll figure it out, whether it’s Haji [Wright], Brenden [Aaronson], other players that have played there before so we’ll figure it out,” he said. 

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Monday, July 1 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Location: Arrowhead Stadium — Kansas City, Mo.
  • TV: FS1  | Live stream: Fubo (Try for free)
  • Odds: United States +145; Draw +220; Uruguay +195

At winger, Gio Reyna, Aaronson and Wright can all play on the right side but against an opponent like Uruguay, Aaronson may be the best option. Reyna has been operating deeper in midfield and could be pushed up into the attack, but to combat Uruguay’s press, it’s important to have release valves in midfield. Reyna is someone who can take the ball in a tight situation and dribble or find the right pass to get out of it. At times, when he’s on the wing, it can lead to a situation where Reyna doesn’t see as much of the ball as he should but keeping him in a deeper role allows Reyna to find and dictate the game. 

Match dictation is also what brings us to another move that Berhalter will need to consider. The fitness of Tyler Adams has been an issue during this tournament but so has his form. Adams has been withdrawn at 45 minutes in both matches of Copa America and hasn’t put a real stamp on either match. When healthy, Adams is the best enforcer in the USMNT midfield but this version isn’t healthy which is why turning to Yunus Musah could be the way to attack Uruguay.

Not only does Musah bring similar qualities to Reyna in being able to dribble out of tight situations, but he’s also a different profile at the base of midfield than Adams. Able to push up and show his passing range, the USMNT would be able to have sustained buildup play with him in midfield. The setup would be lighter defensively but your best defense against La Celeste is holding on to the ball. 

The USMNT are in a tough situation without Weah but it’s one that they’ll have to manage. Even if they advance to the quarterfinals Weah won’t be available as the red card carries a two-match suspension due to being for violent conduct. But the USMNT can’t worry about what happens in the next round as they need to defeat Uruguay and hope for help first.

Also keep an eye on goalkeeper Matt Turner, who left the Panama game with an injury, being replaced by Ethan Horvath. But signs point to Turner being ready to go for Uruguay.

Predicted lineup

XI: Matt Turner, Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream, Chris Richards, Joe Scally, Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun, Brenden Aaronson

Group C scenarios for USA soccer

  • With a United States victory: They will qualify for the knockout stages as long as Panama 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. 

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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