USA handed lifeline as Bielsa suspended ahead of crucial Uruguay game

USA handed lifeline as Bielsa suspended ahead of crucial Uruguay game

With advancement in the Copa America on the line, Gregg Berhalter and the United States have been gifted a lifeline for their Monday afternoon game against Uruguay.

Uruguay manager Marcelo Bielsa has been suspended for one game by CONMEBOL – meaning he will not be on the touchline for the final game of the group stages.

That’s because Bielsa was late to bring his team out to start the second half.

His first assistant, Pablo Quiroga, will take over head coaching duties – including the press conference to be held later Sunday afternoon.

Bielsa is not the only coach at this tournament to be handed such a suspension for a delay in returning for the second half.

Marcelo Bielsa will be suspended for Uruguay’s upcoming game against the United States

It's a lifeline for the USMNT and coach Gregg Berhalter, who will likely need a result to advance

It’s a lifeline for the USMNT and coach Gregg Berhalter, who will likely need a result to advance

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni was suspended for a match at the Copa America, as has Ricardo Gareca of Chile and Fernando Batista of Venezuela.

The Americans face a do-or-die scenario after dropping points in a loss to CONCACAF rivals Panama on Thursday.

Panama and the USA are now tied on points – with the Americans just ahead on goal difference.

With Panama playing the weakest team in the tournament – Bolivia – at the same time as USA-Uruguay, the Americans will likely need to pick up points to have any hope of advancing to the knockout stages.

If both the USA and Panama win, the Americans will need to have better goal difference than their rivals in order to advance.

The Americans will advance automatically if they win and Panama draw. Meanwhile, if the USMNT draws, then they’ll only move on if Los Canaleros draw or lose.

If both teams lose, the Americans will have to hope for better goal difference once again in order to advance – and even that might be tough. For example, if the USA lose 4-0 and Panama loses 1-0, then Panama would advance.

Failure to advance would ask plenty of questions about Berhalter’s future – with rumors and speculation about a possible departure (or him staying) continuing to swirl. 

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