Team USA will try to satisfy their fans with a win, when they take on Colombia on Saturday for the third-place consolation match. It seems that coach Klinsmann will field his best possible squad in an attempt to capture their best position in the team’s history. Colombia might be missing their two most important players, as Rodriguez and Bacca are doubtful.
Team USA were below average against Argentina in the semi-final, as the final score of 4-0 in favor of Argentina might even be considered flattering. They were unable to live up to the expectations of a match of this caliber, and failed to put up a fight. The story was over pretty early in the game, as they conceded goals in the 3rd minute and again in the 32nd by a beautiful free-kick by Messi. In the second half, USA really couldn’t do anything to create some chances. Gonzalo Higuain scored two more goals in the second half for Argentina, in their most easy match-up in this tournament. What makes their win even bigger is that USA didn’t even manage a single shot in the opposing area. Anyway, they are called to pick up the pieces now and pursue the honor of the third place, which would be their best placement in the Copa America history. They had reached the same stage in 1995 where they lost to Colombia with 4-1. According to the news, Klinsmann is going to use his strong squad in what may be his last game in the bench of Team USA. After all he has an offer from Premier League’s Southampton. Jones, Bedoya and Wood are available again after serving their one match ban.
The match between Colombia and Chile was one big travesty. I had predicted that both teams score and let me tell you what happened in order for Colombia not to score. Colombia entered the match lacking concentration and they were stunned by the ever-ready Chileans, as they were down 2-0 by the 11th minute, after the Colombian defense slept through both goals. The first half ended with the screens on the stadium warning the fans to look for shelter, as extreme weather conditions were approaching. The match was delayed for 2.5 hours, and when the second half started, all the players had gone out of rhythm and the pitch was looking more like a pond, which naturally made it worse for everyone. The referee did not award an obvious penalty kick for the Colombians, and to make matters worse, he expelled Sanchez with a second yellow card in the 60th minute, in what was considered an extremely harsh decision by the referee. Colombia did not give up and they almost scored at the dying minutes of the match, but the shot stopped at the crossbar. Our bet was solid, but sometimes you get wrecked by random things, like the weather, or the referee being incompetent. Anyway, Colombia now have the chance to compete for the prestige of the 3rd place, and they might have to do it without their biggest star, James Rodriguez who is preparing for a surgery in his shoulder in order to fix the problem for good. Their best striker, Carlos Bacca will probably miss this one too as he has a minor injury, and of course Sanchez will be missing due to his red card.
USA will look for a win in the consolation match, and they have an extra motive to do so, as it will be the highest place in USA’s history. It is the last chance for the team to entertain their home crowd at Arizona. Colombia will probably miss Rodriguez and Bacca which are terrible blows, as they are their most quality players along with Cuadrado. I would advise you to check the team report before the game to see if they play, before placing any bets. My prediction for this match is the +0.25 for USA. With or without Rodriguez and Bacca, I think that Team USA will have an extra motive in this game, so if you are feeling risky just go for the win at +194.
Copa América Prediction: USA +0.25 (-124)