Test Series A

Gutsy win pushes USMNT in Copa America Centenario quarterfinals

Heart, guts, grit, character.


All of the sports clichés apply to the USA's 1-0 victory over Paraguay on Saturday night which saw them emerge from the Group of Death and advance to the quarterfinals of the Copa America Centenario.


"Oh man, it’s awesome,” Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey said in the postgame flash interview after the match. "The boys showed a lot of heart today, especially after we got that red card. And man, a lot of character. We’re proud to advance to the next round."


That red card was shown to right back DeAndre Yedlin just three minutes into the second half and it forced US manager Jurgen Klinsmann to take Dempsey off the field for another defender, Michael Orozco. The USA were in bunker mode at that point.


"It showed our will to grind out a result, to fight and to just battle,” US goalkeeper Brad Guzan told FS1 after the match. "We knew It was going to be a battle before the game and then when we went down a man, it was going to be that much harder. Absolutely all the credit goes to the guys in front of me."


The USMNT will now host the second-place team from Group B at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Thursday, their first trip to the Emerald City since 2013.


"We believe in each other. We said it from Day 1, we’ll have ups and downs, but we stuck together tonight,” US center back and former Houston Dynamo player Geoff Cameron told FS1. “Going down a man in the second half, we stepped up. Everybody worked for one another. Everybody worked their socks off tonight. We all left it on the field and kept another clean sheet. We’re happy about that.”



Cameron was slightly upstaged on the night by his center back teammate, John Brooks, who logged 14 clearances, four recoveries and three interceptions and in the eyes of many was the Man of the Match in the defensive performance.


“They [Paraguay] kind of pushed almost a third forward on us,” Cameron said. "But we kept our lines tight and kept our line high. They had their chances. Brad [Guzan, goalkeeper] made some fantastic saves. Brooksy [John Brooks] just ate everything up. They seemed to be bypassing me over at the near post and going to Brooksy’s head every single time. For me, it was excellent. Overall, everybody put in a full team performance tonight."


For anything Cameron and Brooks didn’t clean up, there was Guzan, the US starting goalkeeper who was only named the No. 1 before the tournament started ahead of Colorado Rapids netminder Tim Howard. Guzan’s six saves — a tournament high for him — ensured Paraguay never built any momentum in a game they had to have.


"Listen, the guys in front of me have been fantastic and every now and then it’s the job of the goalkeeper to come up with the save,” Guzan told FS1 in the postgame. “And I was lucky enough to do that tonight."


“We believe in each other,” Cameron said. “We believe in the group we have. You don’t want negativity to come into the group. We all stayed positive and we believe in one another. And it showed out on the field."

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