Tonight in Sodo the USMNT host Ecuador in the initial game of the Copa America knockout round. And I’ll be there live for the thrilling capstone of my Seattle pack of games. As Mrs. Raving Green said shortly after Columbia fell to 2nd in Group A, “I feel like we won the Copa America lottery.” Tonight’s game is now the ticket to have.
After being wildly stoked for the Argentina game, the context of soccer in Seattle has shifted dramatically. Messi and Co. were somewhat of a disappointment on Tuesday, as Argentina handily dispatched an overwhelmed and underwhelming Bolivian side. Down 3-0 at the half, the Bolivians just bunkered. That was some pretty cynical football, to focus on not losing worse instead of trying to get one back( or, God forbid, earn a result). Of course I am jaded, as I would’ve liked to see a more open game.
The atmosphere was lackluster as well at the Argentina game. Sure, the stadium was packed to Sounders capacity at 45,000, but it was deathly quiet. The Peruvian supporters brought it the previous game with drums and a constant supporters section, and the stadium was barely a quarter full. But the USMNT in a knockout game of a major tournament in Seattle?? Tonight should be very, very different.
BOLD PREDICTION: Who saw the Stars and Stripes winning their group (especially after that ludicrous display against Columbia). Columbia totally slept on a CONCACAF foe and the Ticos made them pay (Hellz yeah Ticos! The end of the game was edge-of-the-seat-nail-biting action. Very rarely does the result of a soccer game physically affect your universe (your emotional and mental state, sure, but physically? Rarely.)). Though now I wish we’d placed second and faced Peru (the least deserving Group winner), as La Tricolor can play.
The Yanks should be fine as long as they hold steady. Losing Yedlin will hurt the attack, but could benefit the D. And our attack has been clicking lately. I am keeping my eyes, as is most everyone else in the American soccer cognoscenti, on John Brooks, who is absolutely having his coming out party. USMNT 2-1.
Now if only they’d fire Jurgen.