Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun goals push USMNT past Bolivia in Copa America

Updated

The U.S. men's national soccer team opened its Copa America campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bolivia in its Copa America opener at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Both of the U.S. goals came in the first half. Christian Pulisic opened the scoring with a banger of a goal less than three minutes into the game. The USMNT was rewarded for a dominant first half with a second goal right before halftime, this one from Folarin Balogun.

The USMNT thoroughly dominated an overmatched Bolivian side. The U.S. had 20 shots to Bolivia's six, and put eight of those shots on target in what could have been a more lopsided score line. The USMNT also owned a 61% to 39% possession advantage in a result the team will be satisfied with, but will know it needs to improve against stiffer competition.

The USMNT is fixated on building an abundance of momentum for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Getting a victory against Bolivia was vital to the USMNT's chances in Copa America 2024. The U.S. is joined in Group C by pesky Concacaf adversary Panama and CONMEBOL powerhouse Uruguay, which currently is sitting second in CONMEBOL 2026 World Cup qualifying. The U.S. faces Panama on Thursday and then will close out group play against Uruguay on Monday, July 1.

Folarin Balogun (right) and USMNT teammate Kristoffer Lund celebrate after Balogun scored a goal against Bolivia.
Folarin Balogun (right) and USMNT teammate Kristoffer Lund celebrate after Balogun scored a goal against Bolivia.

Here are highlights from the USMNT's win over Bolivia on Sunday:

USMNT vs. Bolivia highlights

First-half goals by Christian Pulisic and Folarin Balogun assured that the U.S. would open Copa America 2024 play with a win.

Brenden Aaronson subs in for Tim Weah

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter made another like-for-like swap as Brenden Aaronson came on in the 86th minute for Tim Weah, who had the assist on Christian Pulisic's opening goal.

Aaronson is making his 42nd appearance for the USMNT and has scored eight career national team goals.

Luca de la Torre comes on for Weston McKennie

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter subbed on some more fresh legs to close out what he hopes will be a victory over Bolivia

Luca de la Torre came on for Weston McKennie in the 78th minute in a swap of midfielders.

For de la Torre this is his 22nd USMNT cap.

Ricardo Pepi, Johnny Cardoso come on for USMNT in 65th minute

Ricardo Pepi replaced first-half goal-scorer Folarin Balogun while Johnny Cardoso came on in place of Gio Reyna as U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter continued to use his bench against Bolivia.

Pepi has scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for the USMNT. Cardoso, meanwhile, earns his 14th U.S. cap.

Halftime substitution for USMNT: Yunus Musah on for Tyler Adams

Tyler Adams was making his first start for the USMNT since March, and he gave way after halftime for Yunus Musah in a like-for-like substitution.

Adams' previous start for the U.S. came in the team's Concacaf Nations League final win over Mexico.

Halftime: USMNT 2, Bolivia 0

The U.S. dominated the first half, and the scoreline reflects how the first 45 minutes transpired.

Folarin Balogun and Christian Pulisic scored goals 41 minutes apart as the USMNT earned a 2-0 halftime lead over Bolivia in both teams' Copa America 2024 opener.

The U.S. put two of its three shots on target into the goal, and enjoyed a 61%-39% possession edge over Bolivia, which managed just one shot on target.

A victory against Bolivia is vital to the USMNT's hopes in the tournament, which combines top national teams from North and South America.

Folarin Balogun doubles USMNT's lead right before halftime

Following Christian Pulisic's early goal, the USMNT enjoyed the majority of scoring chances throughout the first half.

And the team finally broke through again when Folarin Balogun rolled a shot past Bolivian goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead in the 44th minute.

Christian Pulisic highlight-reel goal gives USMNT an early lead

The USMNT dominated the early proceedings and it resulted in a quick goal from Christian Pulisic.

And it was a beauty from the squad's best player.

Bolivia is a team that the USMNT should defeat, and this is a dream start for them.

When is the USMNT's Copa America 2024 game against Bolivia?

Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 23.

Where will the USMNT's Copa America 2024 game against Bolivia be played?

The USMNT-Bolivia Copa America 2024 game will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, regular home stadium for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. AT&T Stadium is among the 11 United States-based venues that will host games for the 2026 World Cup.

How to watch USMNT vs. Bolivia on TV

The television broadcast will be available on FOX, with pregame coverage starting at 5 p.m. ET. John Strong (play-by-play), Stu Holden (analyst), Ana Jurka (sideline reporter) and Dr. Joe Machnik (rules analyst) will provide coverage for FOX Sports.

The Spanish-language television broadcast available on Univision/TUDN.

How to stream USMNT vs. Bolivia

The match will stream on FOX Sports and the FOX Sports app. Vix will provide a streaming option for Spanish-language broadcasts. Streaming also available on Fubo.

USMNT starting 11 vs. Bolivia: Tyler Adams in lineup

Coach Gregg Berhalter made two changes to the starting lineup from the squad that tied with Brazil in the USMNT's Copa America tune-up match on June 12.

Tyler Adams starts ahead of Yunus Musah in the midfield, and Folarin Balogun starts in place of Ricardo Pepi up top.

This marks Adams' first start since March 24 in the Concacaf Nations League final against Mexico, which the U.S. won 2-0 thanks in part to a goal from Adams.

What are Sunday's Copa America 2024 games?

Sunday's Copa America 2024 slate features two games, both involving teams in Group C:

➤ United States vs. Bolivia at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, 6 p.m. ET (FOX)

➤ Uruguay vs. Panama at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, 9 p.m. ET (FOX)

What are the 2024 Copa America odds?

According to BetMGM, Argentina (+175) are the favorites to win the 2024 Copa America, followed by Brazil (+225), Uruguay (+550), Colombia (+900),  United States (+1200) and Mexico (+1200).

Argentina's Lionel Messi (+350) is the favorite to score the most goals in the 2024 Copa America, according to BetMGM. He is followed by Argentina's Uraguay's Darwin Núñez (+400), Argentina's Julián Álvarez (+500), Brazil's Vinicius Junior (+500), Argentina’s Lautaro Martínez (+550) and Brazil's Rodrygo (+800).

What is the USMNT's schedule for Copa America 2024?

The USMNT will play in Group C of Copa America 2024 against Uruguay, Panama and Bolivia.

➤ Sunday, June 23: USA vs. Bolivia in Arlington, Texas, 6 p.m. ET (FOX)

➤ Thursday, June 27: Panama vs. USA in Atlanta, 6 p.m. ET (FOX)

➤ Monday, July 1: USA vs. Uruguay in Kansas City, Missouri, 9 p.m. ET (FOX)

John Strong (play-by-play), Stu Holden (analyst), Ana Jurka (sideline reporter) and Dr. Joe Machnik (rules analyst) will provide on-air coverage for FOX Sports.

Spanish-language broadcasts for the USMNT’s Copa America games available on Univision/TUDN.

What is the Copa América?

CONMEBOL Copa América, or the American cup, is the world's oldest running continental tournament, dating to 1916. It is used to determine the champion of South America, but select teams from North America and Asia have been invited to compete since the 1990s. This year, the 10 CONMEBOL teams will be joined by six Concacaf teams.

This summer’s edition will be the 48th tournament and only the second time it has ever been held outside of South America. The United States also hosted Copa América Centenario in 2016, a special edition of the tournament to commemorate 100 years of CONMEBOL and Copa América.

The tournament is now held every four years, coinciding with the UEFA European Championship. Defending champions Argentina and Uruguay have won Copa América 15 times each, most of any country followed by Brazil (nine, last in 2019). — Safid Deen

Where are Copa America matches being held?

The tournament will be held in 14 cities across the U.S., with each location hosting two or three matches over a 25-day period. The opening match is Thursday in Atlanta and the final is July 14 in Miami. The third-place match will be in Charlotte on July 13.

Matches will also be played at stadiums in Arizona (Glendale), California (Santa Clara and Inglewood), Florida (Orlando and Miami), Kansas and Missouri (in Kansas City), Nevada (Las Vegas), New Jersey (East Rutherford) and Texas (Arlington, Austin and Houston).

These are the stadiums hosting Copa America 2024 games:

  • Arlington, Texas (AT&T Stadium)

  • Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)

  • Austin, Texas (Q2 Stadium)

  • Charlotte, N.C. (Bank of America Stadium)

  • East Rutherford, N.J. (MetLife Stadium)

  • Houston (NRG Stadium)

  • Inglewood, California (SoFi Stadium)

  • Santa Clara, California (Levi's Stadium)

  • Glendale, Arizona (State Farm Stadium)

  • Las Vegas (Allegiant Stadium)

  • Kansas City, Kansas (Children's Mercy Park)

  • Kansas City, Missouri (Arrowhead Stadium)

  • Miami Gardens, Florida (Hard Rock Stadium)

  • Orlando, Florida (Inter&Co Stadium)

Why is the Copa America being played in the U.S.?

The Copa América is the oldest and longest-running continental soccer competition, crowning the South American men’s champion.

Of its 47 previous editions, all but one have been held in South America. Just like it did in 2016, the United States will serve as the host for a special edition of the Copa América.

There are two big reasons why the tournament is being held in the U.S. in 2024. Seth Vertelney, Pro Soccer Wire

Which players are on the USMNT and Bolivia rosters?

USMNT roster

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Cardiff City/Wales), Sean Johnson (Toronto FC/Canada), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/England)

Defenders (9): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/Scotland), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/Italy), Mark McKenzie (Genk/Belgium), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Tim Ream (Fulham/England), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/England), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/England), Miles Robinson (FC Cincinnati), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany)

Midfielders (7): Tyler Adams (Bournemouth/England), Johnny Cardoso (Real Betis/Spain), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/Spain), Weston McKennie (Juventus/Italy), Yunus Musah (AC Milan; Italy), Gio Reyna (Nottingham Forest/England), Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands)

Forwards (7): Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/Germany), Folarin Balogun (Monaco/France), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Christian Pulisic (AC Milan/Italy), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/England), Tim Weah (Juventus/Italy), Haji Wright (Coventry City/England)

Bolivia roster

Goalkeepers (3): Guillermo Viscarra (The Strongest), Carlos Lampe (Bolívar), Gustavo Almada (Universitario de Vinto)

Defenders (8): Diego Medina (Always Ready), Roberto Carlos Fernández (Baltika Kaliningrad/Russia), Marcelo Suarez (Always Ready), Jesús Sagredo (Bolívar), José Sagredo (Bolívar), Luis Haquin (Ponte Preta/Brazil), Adrián Jusino (The Strongest), Yomar Rocha (Bolívar)

Midfielders (9): Leonel Justiniano (Bolívar), Boris Céspedes (Yverdon-Sport/Switzerland), Gabriel Villamíl (LDU Quito/Ecuador), Héctor Cuellar (Always Ready), Fernando Saucedo (Bolívar), Robson Matheus (Always Ready), Miguel Terceros (Santos/Brazil), Ramiro Vaca (Bolívar), Adalid Terrazas (Always Ready)

Forwards (6): Lucas Chávez (Bolívar), Jaume Cuéllar (Barcelona B/Spain), Rodrigo Ramallo (The Strongest), César Menacho (Blooming), Carmelo Algarañaz (Bolívar), Bruno Miranda (The Strongest)

MLS players in Copa America 2024

In all, there are 41 Major League Soccer players on rosters for Copa America teams.

Of the league's 29 teams, 21 will be represented in the tournament. Minnesota United FC and CF Montréal lead with the most players on Copa America rosters with four apiece. Canada has the most MLS players with 14.

Argentina

  • Lionel Messi, forward, Inter Miami CF

Canada

  • Ali Ahmed, midfielder, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

  • Moïse Bombito, defender, Colorado Rapids

  • Mathieu Choinière, midfielder, CF Montréal

  • Maxime Crépeau, goalkeeper, Portland Timbers

  • Kyle Hiebert, defender, St. Louis City SC

  • Richie Laryea, defender, Toronto FC

  • Kamal Miller, defender, Portland Timbers

  • Tani Oluwaseyi, forward, Minnesota United FC

  • Jonathan Osorio, midfielder, Toronto FC

  • Samuel Piette, midfielder, CF Montréal

  • Jacen Russell-Rowe, forward, Columbus Crew

  • Jacob Shaffelburg, forward, Nashville SC

  • Dayne St. Clair, goalkeeper, Minnesota United FC

  • Joel Waterman, defender, CF Montréal

Costa Rica

  • Alejandro Bran, midfielder, Minnesota United FC

  • Julio Cascante, defender, Austin FC

  • Ariel Lassiter, midfielder, CF Montréal

Ecuador

  • Carlos Gruezo, midfielder, San Jose Earthquakes

Jamaica

  • Jon Bell, defender, Seattle Sounders FC

  • Andre Blake, goalkeeper, Philadelphia Union

  • Kevon Lambert, midfielder, Real Salt Lake

  • Damion Lowe, defender, Philadelphia Union

Panama

  • Coco Carrasquilla, midfielder, Houston Dynamo FC

  • Aníbal Godoy, midfielder, Nashville SC

  • Carlos Harvey, midfielder, Minnesota United FC

  • Omar Valencia, defender, New York Red Bulls

Paraguay

  • Carlos Coronel, goalkeeper, New York Red Bulls

  • Andrés Cubas, midfielder, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

  • Matías Rojas, midfielder, Inter Miami CF

Peru

  • Luis Abram, defender, Atlanta United

  • Miguel Araujo, defender, Portland Timbers

  • Wilder Cartagena, midfielder, Orlando City SC

  • Pedro Gallese, goalkeeper, Orlando City SC

United States

  • Sean Johnson, goalkeeper, Toronto FC

  • Shaq Moore, defender, Nashville SC

  • Miles Robinson, defender, FC Cincinnati

Uruguay

  • Cristian Olivera, forward, Los Angeles FC

  • Luis Suárez, forward, Inter Miami CF

Venezuela

  • José Martínez, midfielder, Philadelphia Union

  • Dani Pereira, midfielder, Austin FC

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USMNT defeats Bolivia in its Copa America 2024 opener

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