Copa América Centenario
It all kicks off today! Jurgen Klinsmann minced no words with the Wall Street Journal about the state of the US team, his goals for the Copa, and how his young players need to do better in their club teams to earn roster spots.
Both Jermaine Jones and his club coach Pablo Mastroeni are optimistic about the USMNT's chances in the biggest tournament on American soil in decades. Home field advantage can be huge.
Since Klinsmann is virtually guaranteed to use a 4-3-3, what's the best lineup at this point? Here's how Top Drawer Soccer sees it. Preview: Clint Dempsey is on the bench.
Univision has created a very cool interactive infographic showing the 'diaspora' of each Copa country's players across the world's leagues. [Spanish]
For a history lesson on some of the "politics and poetry of Copa América,"head over to this great piece on Unusual Efforts.
Anyone hoping for the US to hoist the trophy at the end of this tournament is a glass-overflowing-in-an-ocean-of-water person, but Matt Doyle would like to explain to you thatthe US is much better historically against top competition than the conventional wisdom suggests.
Which USMNT players have the most to gain or lose in their play in the tournament? Forever Sounder DeAndre Yedlin makes the list at SBI, and so does Dempsey.
Readers here should be pretty familiar with these basics, but if you have a friend who needs help trolling US soccer fans online,Ginge has a handy guide for you here.
Sunil Gulati has high hopes for the US in the Copa as well, but he's also pretty stoked about the big cash influx from ticket sales, to be sure.
For a...rough review of Klinsmann's US soccer reign so far, the Guardian has got you covered, and I'm going to leave a quote here:
The US men's national team is tactically chaotic, inconsistent, frequently embarrassing, and lumbers along as if borne by the force of America's size and the public's expectations alone, constantly threatening to fall apart at the seams, flirting with disgrace on a semi-annual basis, its heavily conditional successes a pure function of demographics and scale.
While that might be a bit harsh, there's a good bit of harsh truth in there. The US backline, though is beginning to finally see some consistency. Brad Guzan and Geoff Cameron had high praise for John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin and their improvements over the last year.
Finally, for a bit of hype and hope, here's the story of how US shocked Argentina and the world at the 1995 Copa América. I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN.