There are few teams in the world that can keep up with Lionel Messi. Surround the magician with a supporting cast that also contains several of the world's best and Argentina is nigh unstoppable. They are Goliath. On a Tuesday night in Houston another diminutive force tried to stop them and failed. The United States were pummeled 4-nil.
Very little went right for the Americans. Possession was so poor that a tactical sub of Christian Pulisic was needed just to look like a better soccer team. It wasn't enough to look capable of winning, but the second half was less embarrassing than the first half.
Messi finished with a brilliant free kick goal and two assists.
It was everything to be expected from the Barcelona and Argentina great.
There is little consolation for the USMNT. Though they did not get crushed like Mexico they are now forced to play in a third-place match against the loser of Chile-Colombia. That Saturday match will mean that Clint Dempsey will not be back with the Sounders for their match.
Grit, determination, belief and swagger are not enough on the biggest stage. There also needs to be enough talent for the intangibles to make a difference.