Teamwork makes the dream work

Participant scores as Christian Pulisic leads USMNT to first Copa America 2024 victory

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In entrance of a house crowd at AT&T Stadium, the U.S. Males’s Nationwide Staff bought off to a sizzling begin of their first Copa America 2024 match in opposition to Bolivia, successful 2-0 with Christian Pulisic stealing the present.

After two lackluster performances of their Copa America tune-ups, together with a 5-1 loss to Colombia, the USMNT regarded to return out of their first Group C fixture and make a press release in opposition to Bolivia, the 84th ranked workforce on the planet.

How the sport unfolded

The USA bought off to an electrifying begin, outclassing Bolivia from the primary whistle. Simply three minutes into the sport, it was none apart from Christian Pulisic who curled in a robust strike from the highest of the field to present the Stars and Stripes the 1-0 lead and the captain his thirtieth worldwide objective.

The following 40 minutes of the primary half unfolded quite uneventfully. The USA appeared content material to decelerate the sport’s tempo and preserve snug possession. After just a few half-chances, Tim Ream gained the ball again from a Bolivia throw in and the USA rapidly performed it to Pulisic, who carried it ahead and laid it off to Folarin Balogun. The striker fired a left-footed shoot into the far nook of the online, beating Viscarra and sending the USA into the locker room up 2-0.

As a substitute of taking their foot off the gasoline within the second half, the USA saved pushing ahead with a palpable starvation for extra targets that they arguably ought to have buried. Ricardo Pepi, particularly, had wonderful probabilities, together with a faucet in from three yards out within the ninetieth minute that he shot instantly on the keeper.

Regardless of the dearth of targets within the second half, the USA walked away with a snug three factors and can flip their consideration to their subsequent match in opposition to Panama on June 27.

Folarin Balogun

Balogun put the USA 2-0 up simply earlier than halftime. / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

GK: Matt Turner – 6/10 – The USA’s keeper had a quiet night time and the few saves he needed to make have been very snug.

RB: Joe Scally – 6/10 – Minus just a few sloppy passes, Joe Scally appears to be settling into his beginning position rather than the injured Sergino Dest. He was notably not referred to as upon to do a lot, although.

CB: Chris Richards – 5/10 – Chris Richards helped Ream and Turner preserve a clear sheet, however he had just a few horrible giveaways that might have led to harmful probabilities in opposition to a harder opponent.

CB: Tim Ream – 6/10 – Tim Ream did his job tonight with little fanfare. He didn’t must have any defensive heroics, however he did win the ball again that result in Balogun’s objective.

LB: Antonee Robinson – 8/10 – Antonee Robinson was at all times contributing to the assault, discovering house on the left flank that usually ended with a strong cross right into a harmful space. He is without doubt one of the most irreplaceable gamers on the roster.

CM: Weston McKennie – 6/10 – Weston McKennie had a strong efficiency within the midfield with just a few threatening runs into the field, however he additionally felt out of the motion at occasions. McKennie was booked within the forty ninth minute.

CM: Tyler Adams – 6/10 – Tyler Adams solely performed the primary half of the sport as Berhalter continues to strictly handle the midfielder’s return from damage. He regarded respectable when he had the ball at his toes, however his defensive prowess within the midfield was not wanted in opposition to Bolivia.

CM: Gio Reyna – 7/10 – Though Gio Reyna had just a few flashes of what he can convey to the USMNT’s assault tonight, it nonetheless appears like his finest efficiency for the Stars and Stripes is but to return. The Nottingham Forrest man additionally was on the receiving finish of some harsh tackles.

RW: Timothy Weah – 7/10 – Tim Weah may not make any headlines after his efficiency tonight, however he leaves with an help on Pulisic’s objective and stays one of the crucial dependable gamers for USA’s assault.

ST: Folarin Balogun – 7/10 – Folarin Balogun discovered the again of the online simply earlier than halftime, possible doing sufficient to maintain his beginning spot regardless of a number of heavy touches within the ultimate third that lacked a high quality end.

LW: Christian Pulisic – 9/10 – As soon as once more, Christian Pulisic was one of the best participant for the USMNT. Not solely did his good strike put the USA up 1-0, however he additionally assisted Balogun’s objective to seal the sport in simply the primary half.

Substitutes

Yunus Musah – 6/10 – Yunus Musah made his presence identified in simply 45 minutes, beating gamers off the dribble in central areas a number of occasions and serving to out his protection to regain possession in his personal half.

Johnny Cardoso – 5/10 – Johnny Cardoso solely performed lower than thirty minutes and had no memorable contributions.

Ricardo Pepi – 5/10 – Ricardo Pepi had his probabilities, however lacked the tip product.

Luca de la Torre – 5/10 – The substitute earned a typical 5 after he got here in for Weston McKennie within the 78th minute.

Brenden Aaronson – N/A – Aaronson solely performed the final 4 minutes plus stoppage time.

Supervisor

Gregg Berhalter – 7/10 – Regardless of the snug win, the warmth on Berhalter won’t disappear. The USA have been anticipated to beat Bolivia, and their supervisor won’t stroll away with immense credit score for placing out a lineup that has higher gamers at each place than La Verde. Berhalter’s choice to start out Balogun tonight over Ricardo Pepi, although, paid off.

Realistically, the Stars and Stripes ought to have scored extra targets on the night time. Hopefully, the workforce does not come to remorse these alternatives contemplating this group may very well be selected objective differential.