YA PANEL SEMIFINAL PREDICTIONS
Officially and written forever in the undeletable record of the internet, nearly all of us predicted we'd be here...but did any of us actually believe the team would end up in the semifinal?
That's right, Jürgen Klinsmann's squad has pulled its act together and now stands one game away from playing the Copa América Centenario final on home soil.
Who's blocking the way? Well, it's some guys from a country that produces good wine and even better beef, who might also happen know a thing or two about playing this sport.
Predictably, a mood of pessimism has descended upon the YA writers...not the sort that would ever dream of a 7-0 thrashing, but dour mood nevertheless.
Is there any hope against the mighty Argentina? Can any of YA's experts find the least bit of a source for optimism?
It has been an enthralling stretch of Copa America games from the Yanks, but alas, the prospect of facing Messi and Argentina is not a promising omen.
The resiliency of the Brooks/Cameron pairing in the defense has been noteworthy and Matt Besler was superb playing in an unfamiliar left-back role against Ecuador. But without Wood, Bedoya, and Jones, this abridged US squad simply does not have skill to contend against the second best team in the world.
Prediction: USA 0 - 3 Argentina
I don't think the US gives up a touchdown to Argentina but I don't think they'll be moving into the final either.
Argentina's attacking options are simply too much, especially with the US missing Wood, Jones and Bedoya. I'm guessing Beckerman will get the start for Jones and maybe Nagbe and Zusi for Bedoya and Wood.
Prediction: USA 1 - 3 Argentina
Let's be honest: The United States doesn't have the same quality of players as Argentina. They have Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergo Aguero and others, while the US will be without three key players in the lineup. Not that having Bobby Wood, Alejandro Bedoya and Jermaine Jones would change the fact the Yanks will have their hands full in Houston.
If the Americans can keep it close, that will be as good as a win. Whether or not they can rests on the shoulders of Brad Guzan and the back line, especially John Anthony Brooks and Geoff Cameron. We can only hope that they won't be embarrassed too much.
Prediction: USA 1 - 3 Argentina
There's no doubt the US has shown great determination in getting this far in the Copa, a goal which they set for themselves. However, Argentina are on a mission to win this tournament and no team is going to stop them.
Klinsmann will be without three of his starters, but I doubt Jones, Wood and Bedoya would make any difference with the likes of Messi, Aguero and Higuain on the other side.
The boys will put up a fight, but La Albiceleste
will prevail. At least it won't be a drubbing like Chile put on Mexico.
Prediction: USA 1 - 4 Argentina
There is no logical argument that can justify predicting a US victory. Everything - save homefield advantage - is in Argentina's favor. Logically, we should be predicting the size of Argentina's winning margin.
But...the game is happening in Texas. Those of us from Texas (and most people from the outside) know that logic is a foreign concept in the state. Usually that means unmitigated disaster, but once in awhile it actually works out. Anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes, and it's not completely unthinkable to envision the team performing at their collective maximum to keep the game on even terms until the final whistle.
10 years ago, Jürgen Klinsmann coached the German national team to a 1-1 draw in the World Cup knockout round against an Argentina squad everybody expected to win. Germany won on penalties. Screw logic, I'll go out on a limb and predict that history repeats itself.
Prediction: USA 1 - 1 Argentina, US wins on penalties