Thursday, June 28, 2007

2007 Copa America - How does the USA beat Argentina?

USA - Argentina
8:45pm ET/5:45pm PT
TV: GolTV, Telefutura (Spanish)

The US will finally return to South America's big show tonight as they open up against the Copa favorites Argentina. If you pay attention to soccer you know the basic overview of this match. Argentina has their A+ side and is hungry to lift the trophy after 14 years without while the US decided to bring their 'less then best' squad. To say this one has all the makings of massacre is almost under rating the expected outcome.

But what fun is there in going with the tide when you can pull for the under dog. Yes, you will lose just about every time but then again if you win, then the heavens are with you. With that in mind, I took some time to think up ways that the US could win this match without an outbreak of food poisoning in the Argentine camp.

America has two chances in this game (and no, they are not slim and none). The first is the Argentina looks past the US and plays lazy, however with their best on the pitch and with Brazil's defeat at the hands of Mexico still on the front page, this one will be difficult to pull off. The other chance, Argentina does not know most of the opposition, thus they might not anticipate what the Nats will do. How this one goes is that the youngsters of the US are so inexperienced that they will react very different then expected in situations and Argentina will not know how to play them.

The common denominator in both of these situations is Argentina beating themselves because I really don't see a way the US will be able to do it alone (unless Keller turns into an absolute mad man in goal). Argentina's midfield is going to be packed with quality and will provide Feihaber and Clark with competition like they have never seen before. If the US isn't winning a good share of 50-50 balls in the middle, they have no chance.

Still the worst thing the red, white and blue could do is sit back and wait for it. Instead, they need to press forward as much as they can and get bodies in the box. They will probably only have a handful of chances in this match so they need to make them count (just ask Mexico).

If there is one good piece of news for the US it is that they really shouldn't feel that much pressure as expectations are so low. Hopefully this will help Johnson, Twellman or whomever is up top relax and actually show something, while Mapp would feel free to open it up down the side. Also, this is a great game in which to get noticed. If you can prove yourself in this situation not only will you get more national caps but also you might catch the eye of a European suitor.

In the end it would be the greatest of upsets if the Blue and White did not walk out with three points.

Predicted lineup:
GK: Keller
D: Wynne, Conrad, DeMerit, Pearce
M: Olsen, Feihaber, Clark, Mapp
F: Twellman, Johnson

Predictions: Me US 0-2 Argentina, Wife US 0-4 Argentina

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