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Copa America: USMNT Rides Brooks and Guzan into Knockout Round, USA defeats Paraguay 1-0

(Photo by Rob Samuels - Double G Media)

(Photo by Rob Samuels – Double G Media)


Philadelphia, PA – The United States Men’s National soccer team came into its Group A finale with Paraguay with destiny in their own hands.  A draw or a win would ensure a place in the round of 8 of the Copa America Centenario.

Clint Dempsey took a low-driven cross from Gyasi Zardes and fired past Paraguay’s keeper Justo Villar.

The goal put the U.S. in the lead in the 27th minute.

Brad Guzan came up with 3 first half saves, including denying Dario Lezcana from close range after a well timed through ball from Miguel Almiron.

The mood at half time was one of celebration as the American Outlaws and the rest of the United States’ supporters, knew that even a draw would push them through, clinching at least 2nd place in the Group.

However, the mood quickly became tense as just out of halftime, the USA would be reduced to 10 men following an inexplicable decision by the US defender DeAndre Yedlin.

Called for a yellow card for a bad foul just seconds earlier, Yedlin tripped Almiron for a second time and was yellow carded a second time, resulting in a red card and ejection from the match.

Now down to 10, the USA had to switch to a defensive mindset to deny Paraguay a goal.

Jurgen Klinsmann decided to sub off the goal scorer Dempsey in favor of a defensive midfielder Michael Orozco.

The USA dropped back to a 4-4-1 look, and at times, a 4-5 or a 5-4 as the Paraguayan onslaught of shots threatened Brad Guzan’s goal.

The Aston Villa man stood tall in net, credited with 6 saves on the night en-route to the clean-sheet.

John Brooks was heroic in defense snuffing out chances including denying a near breakaway in the first half after which the young defender pumped his fist in celebration.

The win puts the USA on 6 points in Group A, and guarantees the squad a spot in the final 8 of the Copa America.


UPDATE: With Costa Rica’s victory over Colombia last night, USA tops Group A, and will face the 2nd place squad in Group B in the knockout round.


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