Failure is far more common than success as even the likes of top-tier soccer nations like Argentina, England and Mexico have discovered — and puts public frustration with the U.S. Men’s National Team into perspective.
The Chilean national team celebrated its second straight Copa America title just a few feet away from a dejected Lionel Messi. The Argentinian striker missed his penalty kick en route to Chile’s 4-2 shootout victory after 120 minutes of scoreless play.
It was the third straight loss for Argentina in the final of a major tournament and the heartbreak was apparently enough to force Messi into retirement from international play. The 29-year-old told reporters in Spanish after the match that “the national team is over for me. It’s not for me after four finals.”
#Messi: “Es difícil, el momento es duro para cualquier análisis. En el vestuario pensé que se terminó para mí la Selección, no es para mí”.
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 27, 2016
AHORA: Messi: “Se terminó para mí la Selección” https://t.co/Nws9kiScoV
— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) June 27, 2016
Despite his distinction as one of the best in the world, Messi has yet to win a major tournament for Argentina. Sunday’s final was the second time in as many years that Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final on penalty kicks.
And for the latest Vegas Euro 2006 round of 16 odds, courtesy of Bovada.lv, see below:
Euro 2016 Winner
Republic of Ireland 100/1
Northern Ireland 250/1
With the U.S. scoring their record TV ratings so far in the tournament for the Ecuador game, tonight’s Copa America semifinal against Lionel Messi and Argentina is sure to produce even higher viewership.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 21, 2016
— Marisabel Munoz (@MarisabelMunoz) June 21, 2016
— Christen Press (@ChristenPress) June 21, 2016
— Copa América 2016 (@CA2016) June 21, 2016
One week ago, the U.S. men’s national team was facing elimination. By Saturday night, the United States topped its group.
With a 1-0 win over Paraguay and Costa Rica’s stunning 3-2 win over Colombia, the Americans locked up not only their first Copa America quarterfinal berth since 1995 (and second ever) but also the top spot in Group A. This is the first time the United States has ever advanced out of the group stage at a major tournament after losing the first game.
The United States will play the runner up from Group B, either Brazil, Peru or Ecuador, in Seattle at CenturyLink Field on Thursday in the quarterfinals. Continue reading
The Mexican national team will feel right at home in Pasadena on Thursday night in front of what is expected to be a large, overwhelmingly pro-Mexico crowd at the Rose Bowl.
After a 3-1 victory over Uruguay, Mexico will play CONCACAF foe Jamaica at 7 p.m. with a chance to clinch a Copa America Centenario quarterfinal berth. If El Tri wins, they secure a top-two finish in Group C.
The game is a rematch of the 2015 Gold Cup final when Mexico won 3-1 in front of yet another boisterous green, red and white-clad crowd in Philadelphia.
“Every time we play here in the United States, we are very privileged,” Mexico defender Hector Moreno said in Spanish. “We are very blessed to have the support of the people here. Whether it’s in Los Angeles or any major (U.S.) city, they come to support us. We take that as extra motivation rather than that being a disadvantage (for other teams).”
The stakes for Jamaica are high as the island nation would be eliminated from quarterfinal contention with a loss. However, Jamaica forward Giles Barnes, who plays for the Houston Dynamo, said the potential for elimination is not on the team’s radar.
“We’ve got the fire in our belly from the Gold Cup final,” he said. “We’re thinking that we’re going to be here for the long run.”
Mexico has a 20-game unbeaten streak, the longest active streak in the world. The Reggae Boyz have only four wins against Mexico in their history, with the most recent coming in 2008 in World Cup Qualifying. Playing in its second straight Copa America, Jamaica has yet to earn a single point in a Copa match. The team lost 1-0 to Venezuela in its opening game this year and lost all three of its group games in 2015 by the same score.
There is a difficult task ahead, but Jamaica coach Winfried Schaefer said his team is not afraid of the challenge. He remembers how his team was able to sway some of the Mexican supporters at last year’s Gold Cup and earn their applause by the end of the match. He hopes the game in the Rose Bowl will end with similar praise, but a different result.
“I hope after one hour, the Mexico people come to us,” Schaefer said. “It’s possible.”
The United States got a much-needed win against Costa Rica on Tuesday to stay in contention to advance out of Group A at Copa America Centenario. The 4-0 win puts the United States in the best position to take the second quarterfinal spot out of Group A after Colombia became the first team to sew up its quarterfinal berth with a win over Paraguay on Tuesday.
With one group game left, the United States can advance to the quarterfinals with:
- a win over Paraguay
- a draw against Paraguay AND a win from Colombia over Costa Rica OR a Costa Rica win with a margin of victory equal or less than six
With one group game left, the United States can advance as the top seed out of Group A:
- A win over Paraguay with a margin of victory more than two AND a Colombia loss to Costa Rica
Group A and Group B are paired together in the quarterfinals.
— AO Santa Monica (@AO_SantaMonica) June 7, 2016
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 7, 2016
— AO Long Beach (@AO_LongBeach) June 7, 2016
The above chart, compiled by secondary ticket seller rukkus.com, shows that U.S. isn’t the biggest draw in the tournament it is hosting.
The get in price, BTW, is essentially the cheapest ticket on the secondary market, said Jake Sharpless, rukkus.com data and content manager.
“In some cases these tickets are selling for less than face value, which truly indicates the demand of the event,” he said. “Average prices to see Argentina or Mexico games are higher than those of the U.S. For Mexico we know there is a strong contingent of Mexican American fans that attend games whenever they play in the US, but the Argentina draw is coming from Americans who want to see Messi in person.”
— AO Santa Monica (@AO_SantaMonica) June 3, 2016
— AO South Bay, L.A. (@AO_HermosaBeach) June 3, 2016