Let’s be honest, the score line is a clear reflection of what happened in Houston last night. Argentina was just overwhelmingly better than the United States. Even with a very defensive mindset brought out since the opening whistle, Messi and company played some of their best football.
It’s an ending that we all could’ve predicted. Arguably the best team in the tournament with the best player in the World going up against a U.S team missing two of its starters. This wasn’t exactly an “even” match since the beginning.
Hats off to the United States though. They reached the semi-finals of the most competitive international competition in the American Continents and were able to defeat two South American teams on their way. Even after a rocky start against Colombia in the opener, they figured it out, won the group, and made it farther than a lot of people predicted.
Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann admitted that the team’s goal was to make it to the semi-finals. A goal that was accomplished after defeating Ecuador in the quarterfinals, but in the end, it’s clear to see that the USMNT is not on the same level as Argentina…. yet.
The past couple of years haven’t been exactly the best for the U.S under Klinsmann. They squeaked past the group stage in the World Cup, thanks to a late minute goal by Ronaldo, and failed to qualify for the Confederations Cup next year. This has been the first time since 2013 that the team genuinely looked very competitive. This is a major step for Klinsmann, who understood that a bad performance in the Copa America would have him jobless next to Dunga.
Granted, there is a lot of work to be done. A lot of pieces to the puzzle that need to be fixed. A lot of screws that need to be tightened, but overall, the United States had a remarkable Copa America, and they should hold their heads up high. They made it amongst the heavyweights of the American continents.
At this point, it’s normal to have Messi dominate the game like he did today. It’s just who he is. There is no system or tactic that control that. Just ask any team in La Liga. Lavezzi’s early goal did not help the cause either. They quickly found themselves down in the score, needing a goal to get back into the game.
It may not be the result that many United States fans wanted, but hey, it’s still very respectable. Lone representative of the CONCACAF in the Copa America semi-finals. Now, time to shake it off and begin to focus on the World Cup Qualifiers and Gold Cup, because come 2018, we hope to see the red, white, and blue in the semis of the World Cup.