Win or lose, tonight’s rematch against Colombia will be the end of the United States’ Copa America run. With a win, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will secure third place in the world’s oldest international soccer tournament. A loss, and it’s fourth place for the USMNT. (Albeit a more impressive fourth than last summer’s Gold Cup. Much more impressive.)
But the result matters a lot less to many American fans — myself included — than the particular set of players we see tonight. After turning to veterans like Chris Wondolowski, Graham Zusi and Kyle Beckerman in the 4-0 semifinal loss to Lionel Messi and Argentina, there’s a vocal contingent calling for Klinsmann to deploy a younger lineup tonight. Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic lead the way in fans’ minds, but don’t be surprised to see former D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen or current Black-and-Red centerback Steve Birnbaum if the lineup tracks this direction.
Of course, it’s far from certain that Klinsmann will lean on his youth tonight, as veterans Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya return from suspension (along with the still-pretty-young regular in this tournament Bobby Wood). If the manager is looking for a result over anything else, he’ll very likely be starting that pair, both of whom played in each US game on their way to the semis.
Whoever is on the field, the US will have to improve their performance from the last time they played Los Cafeteros, a 2-0 loss to open this tournament in what was the Americans’ worst showing of the group stage. Colombia are one of the top 5 teams in the FIFA World Rankings and a top 10 team in virtually every other ranking, but they’re also vulnerable in ways that, say, Argentina aren’t. The South Americans will be favored tonight, but an upset is well within the range of possibilities for the USA.
United States vs. Colombia
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
Kick-off time: 8pm Eastern
Available TV: FX (English), Univision and Univision Deportes (Spanish)
Available streaming: Fox Sports Go (English), Univision Deportes (Spanish)
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.
The gamethread for tonight's game will be posted one hour before kickoff, but until that's posted, let us know here who you want to see on the field tonight for the Red, White & Blue.