The Copa America Centenario has done a number on US Soccer fans’ emotions in the past few weeks. It’s amazing how quickly the supporters can fall in and out of love with a German named Jurgen. Why does this matter? It means we got some things to talk about.
The US Men rode their high from topping their group into the quarter-finals and performed well enough to earn themselves (sans Wood, Jones, and Yedlin) a trip to Houston to face #1 in the world (according to fair and honest FIFA) Argentina. No biggie.
From the start of the match, you could feel the hesitation from the US players. They obviously came out with a defensive strategy but struggled to connect with each other with their few chances on the ball.
It only took three minutes for Messi to work his magic and set up Lavezzi for a header.
Okay, okay. It’s only a goal and it’s early. We got this.
Not much you can say about this one except it’s a beauty from the best player in the world on the ‘best’ team in the world. Class.
Higuain put in another just after the restart, essentially putting the game even farther out of reach.
Lavezzi almost died. But ads make the tournament possible, so they are almost more important than the players, right?
Higuain finished the US off in the 86th, with a tap in.
So, the US finished the match with zero shots. Maybe putting Wondolowski up front wasn’t the move to make. Hindsight is 20/20, or something like that.
Some fans seem to have forgotten that some wrote the USMNT off from the group stages. We only lost to the 1st and 3rd best teams in the world this tournament. I still feel as though the Copa was a step in the right direction for US Soccer. We saw our team perform to what we thought they could do, the youth showed us what they might be able to bring in the future, and the USA got to host a major soccer tournament with huge exposure.
We move onto Colombia. The USMNT headed to Phoenix to link up with Colombia yet again, looking for a better result and the third place finish. They couldn’t find one.
Carlos Bacca of Milan put Colombia ahead in the 31st, after some filthy buildup.
It wasn’t all pretty in this one. Michael Orozco (a grown, thirty-year-old man) received a straight red card for hands to the face with some force. It’s important to note that Arias was sent off as well, but only because he already was on a yellow.
Not the best way for the US to go out, but overall the tournament was enjoyable from a US Soccer fan’s perspective. Maybe next year.
You gotta love this interaction, though. The best player in the world and a bearded Argentinian man.
The other domestic competition this week. It’s almost like a BuzzFeed article with the title “You WON’T BELIEVE who’s at the top of the table! Number 9s in the West and East will SHOCK YOU!” But it’s accurate. Week 16: Soccer Saturday Edition.
Seattle Sounders 0 NYC FC 2
New York traveled to Seattle looking to take advantage of the Sounders poor form, losing 4 of their last 5, and to regain some form of their own. They did it. Frank Lampard got on it first, with what some considered a controversial goal, but all he did was use that big chest of his.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 25, 2016
Ronald Matarrita got the second for NYC FC in the 87th, to seal it. Seattle in 9th in the West, NYC FC back in 2nd.
Oh, and shots fired from Eddie Johnson, you gotta love it.
DC United 2 New England Revs 0
What’s this?! Seems like it’s been forever since DC had a win at RFK (it hasn’t). It was the roarin’ 20s as Lamar Neagle scored in the 20th and Sean Franklin the 27th. Sabario didn’t let us down though, as he let his fans down in a one-on-one in the 10th. I admire his consistency.
Lamar Neagle with a nasty volley and Sabario with a nice passage of play to set up Neagle’s assist for Franklin. DC into 5th while New England slides into 8th. Where the heck is Kei Kamara?
Orlando SC 3 Toronto FC 2
What a game we had here. Just five minutes in, Cyle Larin got on the board. Giovinco with a nasty assist for Jordan Hamilton’s goal in the 47th. It was all tied up for another 40 or so minutes when Adrian Winter seemed to grab the winner in the 83rd after a brilliant cross from Kevin Molino while the Toronto keeper was out of his sticks. Toronto kept going and Giovinco put it across Joe Bendik for Justin Morrow’s finish.
Eight minutes of stoppage time pretty much guaranteed an exciting finish, as Toronto center back pulled down Julio Baptista in the box with one minute to go. Kaka converted the penalty and it was history from there. Orlando just overtake Toronto for 6th place, on 20 points.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New York Red Bulls 1
This magic matchup from last year’s playoffs brought us a bit more on Saturday night with an exciting finish. Wright-Phillips got his 6th goal in his last four starts with his header in the 52nd, a classic put in off a cross. The Red Bulls looked the stronger side, definitely more shots and chances throughout this one.
Finlay with some nice play outside of the box (yes, Ethan) to set up Francis’ cross with that powerful left foot which found Ola “the new and improved” Kamara for the last minute point. The Crew stopped a three-game win streak for the Red Bulls who sit in 3rd, while Crew are in 9th on 16 (only four points from 5th though). Playoffs still up for grabs in the East.