The United States of America (USA) will be facing their biggest test of Copa America 2016 when they take on Argentina in the semifinals of the centenary tournament.
USA’s 2-0 defeat to Colombia in their first round group stage match could be considered a distant memory as Jurgen Klinsmann’s men have done an amazing job to reach the semis. The first game was the lowest point for the team who has then gone on to make statements in the tournament. Their sheer dominance resulted in seven goals scored in those three matches.
However, fans of USA and Klinsmann will know that Argentina is a different beast altogether. Led by coach Gerardo Martino, La Albiceleste has steamrolled past every opponent in their last four games. In those games, Captain Lionel Messi and his compatriots have scored 13 goals. It has to be noted that Messi has not featured for 90 minutes in most of those matches, as reported by Latin Post.
Both the sides will meet each other at the NRG Stadium in Houston for a thrilling encounter. Although Argentina has been touted as the comfortable favorites by fans and critics alike, USA has to be given their fair share of advantage considering they are the home team of Copa America 2016.
Key Player of USA to watch
All hopes of USA going past Argentina will rest on the shoulders of Clint Dempsey. Dempsey has been phenomenal for the United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) scoring three goals and three assists in the tournament. The 33-year-old has been carrying his nation throughout Copa America 2016 and the semi-final encounter against Argentina won’t be any different, as reported by ESPN.
Key Player of Argentina to watch
Lionel Messi is a man on a mission. He is one of the leading goal scorers of the tournament with 4 goals and he also has 2 assists to his name. Despite not featuring for the entirety of ninety minutes in all the matches, the Barcelona forward has been lethal whenever he has been on the pitch wearing the national colors. This might be the tournament where Messi breaks his voodoo of not winning a major international trophy for his nation.
Both the teams have played each other six times previously with Argentina winning 3 times and the USMNT once. The rest of the two matches have been draws, according to Soccer Punter.
USA: Guzan, Brooks, Cameron, Besler, Yedlin, Beckerman, Bradley, Zusi, Dempsey, Johnson, Zardes
Argentina: Romero, Rojo, Otamendi, Funes Mori, Mercado, Mascherano, Fernandez, Banega, Gaitan, Higuain, Messi
USA vs. Argentina Live Stream
USA 1 – 3 Argentina