Christian Pulisic gets USMNT’s Copa America started off right; Germany trip at Euros while Spain could contend

Written by on June 24, 2024

Hello there! The Euros and the Copa America are officially offering transatlantic doubleheaders, which means there’s plenty of news from the weekend’s action. I’m Pardeep Cattry with a recap from the summer tournaments and a look-ahead at what’s next.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Monday, June 24
🇪🇺 Euros: Croatia vs. Italy, 3 p.m. ➡ Fox
🇪🇺 Euros: Albania vs. Spain, 3 p.m. ➡ FS1
🌎 Copa America: Colombia vs. Paraguay, 6 p.m. ➡ FS1
🌎 Copa America: Brazil vs. Costa Rica, 9 p.m. ➡ FS1

Tuesday, June 25
🇪🇺 Euros: France vs. Poland, 12 p.m. ➡ Fox
🇪🇺 Euros: Netherlands vs. Austria, 12 p.m. ➡ FS1
🇪🇺 Euros: England vs. Slovenia, 3 p.m. ➡ Fox
🇪🇺 Euros: Denmark vs. Serbia, 3 p.m. ➡ FS1
🌎 Copa America: Peru vs. Canada, 6 p.m. ➡ FS1
🌎 Copa America: Chile vs. Argentina, 9 p.m. ➡ FS1

⚽ The Forward Line

🇺🇸 Pulisic shines as USMNT win Copa opener


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The U.S. men’s national team opened up Copa America with a 2-0 win over Bolivia on Sunday in Arlington, Texas, a match in which Christian Pulisic once again stole the show, but some of the team’s other inconsistencies stood out.

Pulisic scored the game’s opening goal in the third minute, capitalizing on a set piece with an impressive strike from distance that made him the fastest USMNT player to tally 30 goals. The captain also assisted Folarin Balogun’s 44th minute goal, took three shots in total and created three chances to easily rise above the rest of his teammates. He earned the highest score in Chuck Booth’s player ratings for good reason, picking up a nine out of 10 on Sunday.

  • Booth: “Who else but the captain to open the scoring as Pulisic lived up to his middle name (Mate) by bringing the energy to the Copa America with his curling effort in the third minute? Unlucky to not have multiple goals during the match, Pulisic was everywhere creating chances, cutting inside and making sure to lead the attack. He takes home man of the match honors with a stellar performance.”

After the match manager Gregg Berhalter also praised the American captain.

  • Berhalter: “He’s a selfless leader. He goes out and competes and works, works really hard and that helps the team and then you add to the fact that he’s highly skilled and can make plays on the offensive end and create chances on the offensive end.

    “It’s a great combination, and what you see is him supporting his teammates, him backing guys, him pushing guys. To me, it was an outstanding performance tonight. He got coach’s man of the match and it was much deserved.”

The USMNT put on a dominant display with 61% of the ball and 20 shots, outpacing Bolivia’s six shots considerably. The mismatch was predicted considering the USMNT’s opponents had just one win in their last 29 Copa America matches heading into Sunday’s clash and currently rank ninth in CONMEBOL’s 10 team World Cup qualifying table.

Berhalter’s side left something to be desired, though, in attack. While Pulisic barely put a foot wrong and Balogun bolstered his own argument as the USMNT’s first choice at center forward with his goal, the hosts’ offense failed to capitalize on all their opportunities. They put just eight of their shots on target as several high-quality chances landed off frame, while Balogun took just three shots in 66 minutes. Substitute Ricardo Pepi doubled that count in just 25 minutes but failed to score a single one, some of it down to bad luck and the rest of it attributed to unimpressive finishing.

The USMNT have the chance to improve on Thursday when they face Panama in Atlanta, where a strong result could send them through to the knockouts with a game to spare.

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🏆 Euro contenders separate themselves from the pack

Germany stumble


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Germany and Switzerland officially booked the top spots in Group A on Sunday, with the former finishing atop the group. It was no straightforward journey to the top, though — the hosts tied 1-1 with the Swiss in Frankfurt, needing an equalizer from Niclas Fullkrug in the second minute of stoppage time to rescue a point.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side were dominant to start, but went down in the 28th minute when Dan Ndoye scored for Switzerland. Germany continued to dominate as they began their search for an equalizer, boasting 67% of possession and taking 18 shots, but were thankful to be bailed out by Fullkrug on a wasteful day — the hosts put just three shots on target, posting 1.7 expected goals in the process.

Elsewhere in Group A, Hungary clinched the third place spot thanks to a goal from Kevin Csoboth in the 10th minute of second half stoppage time. They now await the remaining group stage results to see if they will be off to the knockouts, but will do so without Barnabas Varga, who will miss the rest of the competition with a serious injury sustained in the second half. Details are scarce but he is in stable condition after being hospitalized, per the Associated Press, and is now being treated for several fractured bones as well as a concussion.

Spain’s time to shine


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After Germany’s winning streak came to an end, only two teams remain with a perfect record — Spain and Portugal. The former have the chance to extend that streak on Monday when they face Albania with the chance of topping Group B, impressively rising to the top in a difficult group that includes Croatia and Italy. It’s why Spain rank third in James Benge’s power rankings before the final round of group stage matches begin, and Luis de la Fuente’s team may have a chance to rise even further ahead of the knockouts.

  • Benge: “It might be argued that no one has had a tougher early fixture list than Spain, who have brushed past both Croatia and Italy while putting up a competition leading four non-penalty expected goals (npxG). More significantly, a defense that looked a little vulnerable going into this tournament has only given up 1.5 npxG, rather impressive given they are not dominating possession in the way they once did.”

Spain will have to find a way to beat a competitive Albania side without Rodri, who already picked up two yellow cards in two games and misses Monday’s match through suspension. The good news for them is that they already clinched a berth in the last 16, though the game against Albania will be a test of their depth as they eye their first European Championship in more than a decade.

🔗  Top Stories

🇺🇸 Captain America: Pulisic’s must-see goal is a continuation of his strong form for AC Milan last season, where he revived his club career just in time for a strong showing at the Copa America where he shined as he grows into being the USMNT’s undisputed leader.

🇲🇽 Mexico win: Mexico beat Jamaica 1-0 in their Copa America opener on Saturday, but were unimpressive while doing so and may lose Edson Alvarez after he picked up an injury during the win.

🇫🇷 France draw: France played to a 0-0 draw with the Netherlands on Friday, when William Saliba was the standout but Kylian Mbappe’s absence was still felt.

🤝 Mondesir to Seattle: Sandra Herrera reports that the NWSL’s Seattle Reign are about to sign Haiti captain Nerilia Mondesir from Montpelier and will play a $200,000 transfer fee to do so.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Euro 2024: Croatia vs. Italy, Monday, 3 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Teams to tie 1-1 (+550) — Reigning champions Italy might be the favorites against an aging Croatia side, but both teams have their imperfections. Neither side have been able to keep a clean sheet at the Euros so far, with Croatia conceding five goals in two games, but Italy do not necessarily have the attack to fully exploit their defensive weaknesses. Italy took their foot off the gas after taking a 2-1 lead early int heir game against Albania, while barely managed an attacking presence in their 1-0 loss to Spain. Expect the two teams to cancel each other out to close out a competitive group.
  • Copa America: Brazil vs. Costa Rica, Monday, 9 p.m.
  • 💰 THE PICK: Rodrygo to score (+130) — Brazil has no shortage of attacking talent at the Copa America, so expect them to show it off as the heavy favorites in their opening match of the tournament. Several players could find themselves on the scoresheet including Rodrygo, who scored 17 goals for UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid last season and also notched a goal in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with the U.S. earlier this month.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network


CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women’s game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

⚽ Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Charlie Davies and friends cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

The post Christian Pulisic gets USMNT’s Copa America started off right; Germany trip at Euros while Spain could contend first appeared on CBS Sports.

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