Hey, remember when we did this three weeks ago? Well, we're doing it again tonight, as the United States and Colombia opened the tournament with los Cafeteros winning 2-0. This time, they'll play for 3rd place in the Copa America Centenario. The USMNT lost to Argentina Tuesday night 4-0 when the Colombians fell 2-0 against Chile on Wednesday, which brings us to where we are now. The final between the winners of those games is tomorrow.
The only question left would seem to be who wants third place more, while getting a chance to rest/play some of the lesser heralded players. For Colombia, they will miss Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa) after he picked up a red card Wednesday. We're guessing this means Sebastian Perez will take his place, unless the Colombians want to only use one defensive midfielder (Perez or Daniel Torres). That, in turn would allow them to add a second forward, which is a possibility assuming that Carlos Bacca (AC Milan) is ready to go.
For the USMNT, if we use the the popular "play your kids" mantra could come up. That would mean some sort of time to players like midfielders Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) and Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund). Perhaps we'll see the last D.C. United player to leave for Europe (Perry Kitchen, Heart of Midlothian F.C.) and, in all likelihood, the next player from D.C. United to leave for Europe (Steve Birnbaum). At the very least, we can all agree that a meaningless third place game would hopefully not serve as an excuse to trot out 34-year old Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids) and 33-year old Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), but this is Jurgen we're talking about.
However, since this is Jurgen Klinsmann, we're going to see a 'first choice' squad according to Jeff Carlisle, with the possible exceptions of John Brooks and Fabian Johnson (who are carrying injuries).
United States starting 11:
Here is the #USMNT Starting XI for #USAvCOL. #OneNation pic.twitter.com/ERD64SuPlj— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 25, 2016
Colombia starting 11:
Colombia lineup: Ospina; Arias, C.Zapata, Murillo, Fabra; Celis, Torres; Cuadrado, Rodriguez, Cardona; Bacca. #USAvColombia @FourFourTwoUSA— Scott French (@ScottJFrench) June 25, 2016
Match previews: Rob Usry from our friends at Stars and Stripes FC talked about what to watch for here as well.
What are you drinking?: Well, when this kicks off, the second half of D.C. United's game with the New England Revolution will be just getting started. As I'll be at RFK, bottled water for me, but while in Lot 8, likely enjoying something from Fair Winds Brewing at the Screaming Eagles tailgate.
Prediction: I think that Jurgen will want to take third place a heckuva lot more than Colombia's coach Jose Pekerman does, with Pekerman attempting to claim that vanity in a late second half thrust while the game is still in doubt to a degree. Before that, I think Dempsey and Bobby Wood combine for a goal and Nagbe contributes another, as the Yanks win 2-1 (with Roger Martinez scoring for Colombia), holding off a formidable foe and starting several fascinating think pieces on WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US SOCCER.
This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.