USA V ARGENTINA PREVIEW
Today is the biggest soccer game in US soccer history. Sure the Copa America isn’t the World Cup but defeating a team like Argentina in a tournament like Copa America would be huge for soccer in this country. So far this tournament is averaging 43,000 fans a game, that’s more than the average attendance for the 2002 World Cup held in South Korea/Japan so that is huge for the US in that the game is growing on the soil and that with numbers like this it is highly likely that the US will get the 2026 World Cup if they put a bid on it. Now to the game itself:
This will be a daunting challenge. Argentina is the best team in the World according to the FIFA rankings which are usually bullshit but this time it is legit. I had the opportunity to watch Argentina live Saturday and they are the best team in this tournament by a lot.
The US will go to battle without three players who have started every game for them so far this tournament: Bobby Wood, Jermaine Jones, and Alejandro Bedoya. The first two mentioned will be much bigger losses than Bedoya, especially Wood as he has been creating opportunities not only for himself but creating space for Clint Dempsey.
Without these three it will be very tough for the US to defeat Argentina. The key for the US defense will obviously be to shut down Messi, but when you eliminate Messi, if you can, you have to deal with likes of Ever Banega, Gonzolo Higuain, and a solid defensive line led by Otamendi and Rojo.
All that being said… I got to stick with my original prediction of the US winning this game 2-1. Why you ask? I’ll tell you why, little thing called heart. This US team had been ruled out after a crushing 2-0 loss to Columbia in their opener, but bounced back and ended up winning the group and then proceeded to beat Ecuador 2-1. While Argentina beat Venezuela 4-1 the other day, Venezuela could have easily had 3 goals if their players had the scoring touch of a team like the US.
We play are best when we are doubted.
In Jürgen we trust.