Sunday, February 21, 2016

US gets tough Copa draw

Well, it could not have gone much ruder for the USMNT in Sunday night's Copa America Centenario draw. To wit:

Group A
United States

Colombia
Costa Rica
Paraguay


They got the obvious tough draw out of the pots, and arguably the second-toughest out of the higher CONMEBOL pot. Of course, that's not to say they can't advance from it. Anyway, things went about as bad for Mexico (Uruguay, Panama, Venezuela). Woof.

You can check out the four groups, as well as all 16 of my team previews, here.



- Greg Seltzer

5 comments:

OZ said...

Tough group but the US does better when expectations are low. It always has. And the schedule favors them.

If they can tie or beat Colombia then they will be in good shape and they will be facing the two teams they should be able to get something off of.

Costa Rica are not the same team as in 2014. Pinto isn't coaching them anymore and that was a big part of it. The US will be at home so the game should be even.

Paraguay will be the hard, tricky one especially if the US needs a result from that game.

The two WC qualifiers vs Guatemala should give us an insight into what kind of team will turn up in Copa, though it will be interesting to see if the US can set up any other practice friendlies prior to Copa.

DaM said...

@Oz agreed. I'd agree that it's the hardest group we could have gotten (unless you really like Uruguay), but not as tough as it appears. As you say CR was pretty bad in the gold cup too.

Colombia has looked like they're nowhere close to 2014 either. Falcao isn't Falcao and it seems like they are having some issues finding goals without him. Then again our defense lately has been a cure for looking for goals.

OZ said...

DaM,

Normally, I would rate this Colombia the top team, followed by three average, equal teams.

But home field really might mean something in this case.

This is our equivalent of the Euros so we will certainly send our best squad, while that seems to be a question for a lot of the CONMEBOL teams. And you have to question just how "up" Colombia and Paraguay will be for this admitted money grab.

You also have to look at how the travel plays out for our opponents.

2015 was an experimental year and the team that plays in Copa will be quite different from the 2015 product.

And as ever injuries and luck will have a lot to do with it.

If the USMNT does well in those two WC qualifier Guatemala games then they will head into this thing in a very good frame of mind.

DaM said...

Yeah, I tend to agree. Part of why those Guatemala matches are so important. I wish I had more faith in player selection for this pool. Maybe it'll be fine when he has both euro and domestic to choose from.

OZ said...

DaM,

If you are talking about the Guatemala games my guess is the Euro and Mexico guys are more likely be in form.

For Copa,barring injury and Under 23 considerations, it should be all hands on board.

The USMNT is in much better shape than they were last year. Fabian has finally emerged, Bedoya is healthy, Jozy appears closer to being healthy, Dempsey has had a chance to rest, Nagbe and Nguyen have finally emerged.

Overall I see little reason for the kind of wrist slitting and the weeping and gnashing of teeth that is so in vogue amongst USMNT fans.