This summer, the United States will host the Copa America Centenario, otherwise known as the Centennial Copa America, which is set to commemorate 100 years of CONMEBOL and Copa America.
This year’s tournament is the first to be held outside of South America and six CONCACAF teams will join ten CONMEBOL sides for the duration of the competition. But can the United States defy the odds and beat the likes of Argentina and Brazil this summer?
If nothing else, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side may well be the most improved team in the competition. The United States national team showed their quality in the 2014 World Cup and the USMNT have continued to shock the world in the aftermath of the tournament.
The Americans travelled to Germany in June 2015 for an international friendly ahead of last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup and most were expecting a heavy defeat against the newly-crowned World Cup winners. However, the United States claimed a 2-1 victory in Cologne as substitute Bobby Wood scored a late winner on one of the most memorable days for American soccer.
The United States’ rise to prominence as a soccer force on the world stage is simply outstanding. The growth of the MLS has certainly helped the men’s national team to prosper and improve – especially with the influx of stars from abroad.
With the likes of David Villa, Sebastian Giovinco and Steven Gerrard now plying their trade in the MLS, it’s hardly surprising to see a distinct and clear improvement in both the American national side and the domestic game. United States captain Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Gyasi Zardes have all come on leaps and bounds – largely due to their respective clubs investing heavily in foreign talent.
As of March 10th, the United States are priced at 11/2 in Bet365’s international soccer betting markets. On current form, Klinsmann’s side stand a great chance of winning the tournament on home soil. Without a doubt, the United States are the strongest CONCACAF side in the competition – although you could stake a claim for Mexico on their day.
Fortunately, the US were handed a fairly straightforward group and the hosts will be fairly confident of advancing to the quarter-finals as group winners. Meanwhile, they will be hoping for a favour from Panama or Bolivia in Group D against the dangerous Argentina and 2015 Copa America winners Chile.
So, can the United States do the unthinkable and beat the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay this summer? Well, it won’t be easy but the USMNT are certainly capable of going all the way. They have a young, talented squad and their enthusiasm could carry them to the latter stages at the very least. From there, the United States stand a great chance and, with a bit of luck, they could be standing tall as the Centennial Copa America champions on home turf.