The United States will have their hands full tomorrow night, as they take on the favorite to win the 2016 Copa America. Here are 5 reasons why the USA beats Argentina.
Performance Against Ecuador
Ecuador was seen by some to be the dark horse in the 2016 Copa America. Many online sportsbooks in the US were predicting an easy victory against the Americans, but key goals by Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes allowed the US to win 2-1.
The USA team will need to put on a similar performance if they hope to beat Argentina, a team that has thoroughly dominated their way through the tournament thus far. Their first goal saw Clint Dempsey score a beautiful header off an expertly placed cross by Jermaine Jones. Their second, another cross score by Gyasi Zardes, proved that the US is ready to play against the elite.
A late goal by Ecuador elevated some USA fan’s blood pressure, but ultimately it was too little, too late and the American’s defense allowed them to escape with their lead intact. The performance against Ecuador could be a key reason the USA beats Argentina tomorrow night. If they can ride the momentum of that game, they have a real shot of scoring some goals against Argentina.
Speaking of Dempsey, he is arguably the man of this year’s Copa America. Dempsey scored two goals and had two assists in the group stage, and racked in another goal and assist in the semi-final game vs. Ecuador. Clint has helped will the US team to where they are now, and will look to lead his team to another shocking upset tomorrow night.
Dempsey has been facing calls to retire for the past couple years, but has proved himself to be indispensible thus far in the tournament. The US will likely rely on Dempsey’s experience both on the field and off to push them to victory against Argentina.
Angel di Maria’s Injury
Many experts blame Argentina’s loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup on Angel di Maria being injured. True or not, it certainly didn’t help their chances, as di Maria has proved himself to be one of the key players on the team.
Di Maria hobbled off the field in the midst of Argentina’s win over Panama, and immediately the discussion began over what could have happened. As it turns out, the injury is not as severe as many expected, and it is even possible he could return against the US, but that seems unlikely.
With di Maria gone, the chances increase that the USA beats Argentina. Messi is without a doubt the captain of the Argentina ship, but the less key players, the better the US’ chances get. It did not seem to make a tremendous difference in their games against Bolivia or Venezuela, but could be one key reason for the US to leave the field with their hands raised.
The Home Field Advantage
Okay, we might be reaching here, but there is some advantage playing in your home country. The support of the American fans cheering on their team could help motivate the Americans to play harder. This will be vital for them to beat Argentina. They will need to put constant pressure on the Argentinean defense and make the game ugly.
Another point to consider is how the American crowd will affect the Argentineans. It’s not often that the US hosts major football tournaments, and it is somewhat of a wild card how teams will handle playing against the host country’s team.
More likely than not, this will not be a major factor on if the USA beats Argentina or not, but if the going gets tough, and both teams are stuck in a tight draw with only a few minutes remaining, it may be the home crowd that spurs the Americans to victory.
A Chance to Make History
The United States has never won a major soccer championship, and tomorrow night’s game could be the game to change that. Of course, if the USA beats Argentina they will still need to play the winner of Colombia and Chile, (a tough game in its own right) but a win over Argentina would be incredibly impressive and could help prove that they are capable of beating the best teams.
A win over Argentina would also help boost the idea that the USA will win the World Cup sometime in the next 20 years. That seemed beyond improbable just 10 years ago, but as Bob Dylan put it, “oh the times they are-a changing.”
What do you think? Is it possible the USA beats Argentina in tomorrow night’s semi-final match? Leave your comments below, and make sure to check out our US gambling news page to stay up to date on everything related to sports and gambling!