The semi-finals of the Copa America Centenario pits the gritty and hard-working USMNT against the refined and ridiculously talented Argentina squad tonight at 9pm on FS1. Argentina is ranked #1 in the world and for good reason. They have talent and depth at every position on the pitch and can put a few balls in the back of the net before you can turn your head to watch it happen. They are the only team in the tournament to win all 4 games they have played, winning by a combined 14-2.
Argentina has arguably the best player in the world in Lionel Messi, who can beat you in so many different ways. He can make his own space and get his own shot or draw the defenders and dump the ball off to Gonzalo Higuain for the finish. The only chance the USMNT has to beat Argentina is to score first and put a lot of pressure on their back line, while playing an A+ game in their own defensive zone. The Argentinian back line is very good, but can be exploited with an aggressive speed attack (if you can get past the strong midfield).
To make matters worse, Jermaine Jones, Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood are all suspended for this match due to yellow card accumulation or a red card (Jones). A monumental task made even more difficult thanks to the suspensions.
As much as I would LOVE to see a USMNT victory resulting in a huge international statement, I have to take Argentina in this match-up 3-1. If the US can pull off a victory over Argentina, it will be one of the greatest upsets of all time for the USMNT.