USA’s Berhalter encourages early focus on Copa America despite potential high-stakes clash with Uruguay

The head coach of the United States’ national football team, Gregg Berhalter, has urged his players to not overlook their upcoming matches against Bolivia and Panama before facing off against Uruguay in the Copa America. The draw was made in Miami, with Uruguay and the USA being labeled as favorites to progress from Group C, setting up an anticipated clash between the 11th-ranked South American side and the 12th-positioned tournament hosts.

With potential consequences in mind, Berhalter emphasized the importance of focusing on collecting maximum points in the initial two clashes. He pointed out the danger of overlooking the first two games and solely focusing on the Uruguay game, stressing that every match is meaningful and crucial to achieving their ultimate goal of advancing in the tournament.

The significance of securing first place in the group stage this year is heightened, as the runners-up in Group D are likely to face Brazil in the quarter-finals. With this daunting challenge in sight, Berhalter emphasized the importance of not underestimating any opponent and prioritizing momentum in the group stage.

While Berhalter acknowledges the high expectations placed on his team given their favored status, he believes that the competition will not be easy and emphasized the need for focus and momentum. He emphasized the significance of the tournament taking place on home soil and believes that USA supporters are excited about the event, envisioning great stadiums, competitive soccer, and strong support from the fans.

Excitement surrounding the 16-team tournament is building, with the USA set to open their campaign against Bolivia in Dallas on June 23, followed by a match against Panama in Atlanta four days later. The tournament will kick off with a match featuring world champions Argentina against either Canada or Trinidad and Tobago, while Brazil begins their Group D campaign against Costa Rica or Honduras on June 24.

With the anticipation of the upcoming Copa America building, it presents an opportunity for the United States to showcase their capabilities, captivate the public, and grow the game of soccer. Berhalter and his team are gearing up for the challenge, with eyes set on progressing through the group stage and making a strong impression on the global stage.


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