USMNT attempts epic upset of Argentina
Winning the Group A title was a nice little surprise. Most viewed a quarterfinal win over Ecuador as icing on the cake. Can the U.S. men’s national team actually compete vs. Argentina in the Copa America semis, though?
Tonight’s highly awaited match in Houston certainly doesn’t favor the Stars and Stripes on paper. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives La Albiceleste odds of -230 to advance to the championship affair. Jurgen Klinsmann’s club, conversely, represents a +600 underdog. The over/under goal total sits at 2.5.
Still, the USMNT has specialized in subverting expectations since the Centenario began. Quickly shaking off an early stumble vs. Colombia, Clint Dempsey and the rest of the crew are maximizing their scoring chances while playing exemplary defense. At the same time, it’s fair to question what effect a trio of suspensions will have on this evening’s proceedings. Jermaine Jones, Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood will all sit at NRG Stadium.
No matter who suits up for America, however, priority No. 1 remains trying to contain Lionel Messi. Argentina’s leader has averaged one goal every 41 minutes in the tournament. He is trying to deliver the country its first major senior trophy since 1993.
If Argentina has one weakness, it’s the back four. Does the 33-year-old Dempsey have enough left in the tank to exploit the central pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Ramiro Funes Mori? We’re not prepared to bet against Klinsmann’s lynchpin up front, but Messi on a mission like never before. The world’s greatest player simply will not be denied here, which means the end of the road for a gallant U.S. group.
TUESDAY COPA AMERICA FREE PICK: UNITED STATES/ARGENTINA OVER 2.5 GOALS