USMNT at Copa America: What did Brazil draw, loss to Colombia teach us ahead of USA's big summer


With fewer than 10 days to go before kicking off Copa America against Bolivia, we’ve now seen some of the best and worst of what the United States men’s national team have to offer. They bounced back from a record loss to Colombia to draw Brazil despite being outclassed, which leads you to wonder where the team stands as a whole under Gregg Berhalter. They responded to his challenge at the best time possible to enter the tournament with some confidence under their belts but the real USMNT are likely somewhere in the middle of these teams.

Facing Colombia five times, I don’t think the USMNT would concede five goals again but also facing Brazil five times, they likely lose at least three of those matches. While that’s not optimal, it’s also a taste of what happens when you’re not one of the top five teams in the world. Some teams will outclass the USMNT but it’s important that they fight until the end of every match because in a knockout tournament, you never know what’ll happen if a game goes to extra time or penalties. 

Heading into Copa America, what do we know following these tune-up friendlies?

Joe Scally is the starter at right back

One of the biggest questions facing the USMNT after Sergino Dest went down with a torn ACL was who would fill the void at right back. Our last experience with Joe Scally during Nations League was one to forget but to his credit, he has bounced back and put in a good defensive shift against Brazil. While Scally did need help from Tim Weah and Gio Reyna, considering his defensive assignment was Vinicius Junior, that’s understandable. He was still able to get up the pitch and make things happen in the attacking third and additional confidence will do him well. Starting the group stage off with Bolivia and then Panama will provide more familiar challenges for Scally before his next big test against Uruguay which should only help with cohesion in defense.

Advancing past the round of 16 will take some help

When the Copa America draw happened, there was the looming issue that even if the USMNT got out of Group C, they’d be in for a challenge in facing either Colombia or Brazil in the knockout stages. After facing both, it’s pretty hard to see the USMNT in this current state getting past either in a match that matters. It may feel easier to break down Colombia but their defense can put up an entire wall of determination while Brazil have some of the best attackers in the world. Matt Turner had to make 11 saves just to salvage a draw against Brazil and more would be needed if they played a match that went 120 minutes. Strange things can happen in knockout tournaments and to get past the round of 16, the USMNT will hope for favorable conditions. 

The USMNT will go as far as Christian Pulisic takes them

Scoring his first free-kick goal for the USMNT against Brazil is quite the moment for Christian Pulisic and he also took six shots, putting four on target. While Alisson was there to meet most of them, that’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and against different opposition, he may have had a brace or more. That’s the Pulisic that the USMNT need every match. He was engaged, driven and even dialed in on defense, leading by example as captain of the squad. He’s one of the members of the team who when in form can carry them past anyone in the world and that will be needed during Copa America.





Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top