Fox Sports analyst Alexi Lalas nails post-Copa América USMNT commentary

Love him or hate him (for some reason, plenty do), Alexi Lalas may have delivered the best soccer analysis of his career following the U.S. men’s national team’s elimination from Copa América. 

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s days might be numbered after the Americans squandered their Copa América chances, falling 1-0 to Uruguay on Monday night in a must-win group stage game and were eliminated from the tournament. 

It’s a step back for USMNT after its round-of-16 loss to the Netherlands at the Qatar World Cup, and surely not the momentum crash it needed before the 2026 World Cup, jointly hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada. 

“This team is not able to do anything better than it has in the past. And that hurts. That hurts to say because that’s not what was promised and not, for many, what we believed was going to happen,” Lalas said. “If this is as good as it gets, it’s not good enough. And there’s plenty of excuses, but they don’t matter.” 

Lalas, a former USMNT member, said “the knives” would be out for Berhalter’s firing. He also called out the USMNT players, too. 

“With 2026 coming barreling down the pike — it’s going to come real quick — we can’t afford to waste it. We cannot afford to be embarrassed. And we can’t afford to arrive in 2026 with a team that is not progressed, that is not evolved, and that is not improved,” Lalas said.  

“I see a U.S. men’s national team that’s better than before and we haven’t seen that. That’s a problem going forward,” he added before twisting the knife. “I think they are better soccer players, but ultimately I don’t think they are better U.S. men’s national team players.”

While Lalas’ points are valid and some marked improvement would have been ideal, let’s put this USMNT Copa América run into perspective: The Americans were outscored 9-5 with a win, a draw and three losses in a five-match sample this past month. 

USMNT lost 1-0 to Uruguay to wrap group play, on a goal that was borderline offside. Mind you, Uruguay – which handed Argentina its first loss since winning the 2022 World Cup last November – already advanced to the quarterfinal, and the match was inconsequential for them. 

The U.S. made a splash with a 2-0 win over Bolivia, but a 2-1 loss to Panama put them in the inevitable predicament. And Panama is a team the U.S. should beat, fellow analyst and former USMNT standout Clint Dempsey said.

USMNT tied Brazil 1-1 June 12 in a friendly before the tournament, a nice bounce back from a friendly 5-1 punch to the face from Colombia. The matches were Copa América warmups, before Vinícius Júnior found his stride in Brazil’s second Copa America match, while the Colombia match foreshadowed the gap between USMNT and the world.  

Simply put, the Americans had no chance to compete with tournament favorites like Lionel Messi’s Argentina, Uruguay or Brazil. They were Copa América long shots, just like they’ll be long shots for the next World Cup — although, a trip to the semifinal would surely boost morale for the sport domestically. 

As USMNT licks its wounds and regroups before the next World Cup, get ready for some more Lalas. 

Some may feel FOX (and his previous employer ESPN) have force-fed him into American soccer coverage since his start in 2008, but his analysis is the reason he’s the most recognizable voice of soccer commentary in the U.S., taking fans both old and new into this historic moment for the sport in this country. 

I spoke to Lalas, shortly after the Euros begun and before Copa América began, 30 years to the day he suited up for the USMNT’s first group play match at the Silverdome in Detroit (Rest in peace, the Silverdome, he said). 

“I am incredibly fortunate and I remind myself on a consistent basis how lucky I am and they can pry it from my cold, dead, redheaded American hands,” Lalas told USA TODAY Sports. “I love what I do. I take what I do seriously, but I don’t take myself too seriously and to be able to talk about soccer. We’re 30 years out from the World Cup [in 1994]. I haven’t kicked the ball in 20 years or whatever. And I still work in the game that I love. So, I’m incredibly fortunate to do it.”

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