KANSAS CITY, Kansas — The U.S. men’s national team might be tired of having its back against the wall, but that’s the situation the group finds itself in as it prepares for what could be its final Copa América match.

The Americans face undefeated Uruguay at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday (9 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) and understand that while there are various scenarios that would either get them through to the knockout round or send them home, all they’re focused on is getting a W.

The USMNT, which was initially projected to make a respectable run in this tournament, took care of business in its first match by beating Bolivia 2-0. Then on Thursday, the team was stunned by Panama, losing 2-1 while playing most of the match down a man after Tim Weah was sent off with a red card in the 18th minute. On Saturday, Weah was handed a two-game suspension by CONMEBOL as punishment.

The U.S. is trying not to let all that reality creep into their minds or add extra pressure.

“There’s a lot of different circumstances that can happen in the game that we can still go through to the next stage,” Jedi Robinson told reporters on Saturday after the team trained at Compass Minerals National Performance Center, home to MLS club Sporting Kansas City.

“We just have to think that a win definitely gives us the best chance of going through and if we take care of business on the day, and we don’t go through, then that’s unfortunately what will be, will be. But I like to think that if we win, we’ll be going through. So, give ourselves the best chance and go from there.”

Robinson said the vibe within the team the last couple of days has been “as good as it can be, to be honest,” which was not a ringing endorsement based on his tone, though understandable given the disappointment from the last game.

In an ideal world, the U.S. would have entered its third and final group match safely into the next round. Now, it’s gearing up to test itself against a talented Uruguay team that’s a favorite to make the tournament final. 

And Gregg Berhalter’s job could be in jeopardy. After the loss to Panama, the coach was asked if his position should be on the line if the USMNT fails to advance to the next round of the tournament.

“That’s not for me to determine,” he said, looking around for the next question.

Postgame Interview: USMNT’s Gregg Berhalter on losing to Panama

The Americans have shown a resilient spirit in critical moments before. The USMNT needed to beat Iran in order to move onto the Round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and grinded out a 1-0 victory. In September 2021, the U.S. trailed in Honduras 1-0 at halftime before scoring four goals in the second half to win a World Cup qualifying match.

More recently, the U.S. was blown out by Colombia 5-1 in a friendly, then regrouped and tied Brazil 1-1 a few days later. That’s the kind of turnaround that will be required on Monday, but this time it must end with three points.

“We’re all confident,” Tyler Adams said. “When you have 11 players on the field, we can go toe to toe with anybody. The training was good today. We saw the intensity, and we’re going to need that from the first minute against Uruguay.”

Added Robinson: “Definitely going to come down to a massive effort from the team. If we look at it realistically, there’s a chance that this is our last game in the tournament and there’s no reason to hold anything back and not give everything in this game.”

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman,” published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.

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