USMNT (FIFA Rank 31) v Costa Rica (23)
What to Watch For:
- Will Jurgen Klinsmann make lineup changes? On Friday against Colombia the USMNT had challenging (or even bad) performances from a number of positions. Michael Bradley had one of his worst games for the USMNT, Jermaine Jones was largely absent and both Fabian Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin struggled to make an impact as attacking fullbacks. Will Klinsmann make a change in one of those spots or even bring in Edgar Castillo at left back and move Fabian Johnson higher up the formation?
- Do Darlington Nagbe and/or Christian Pulisic start? The US Soccer viewing public is always looking for the next big thing. That is currently 17 year old Christian Pulisic and to a lesser extent Darlington Nagbe. However, unlike the last decade plus worth of "next big things", Pulisic looks to be the real deal. It might be one game too soon to essentially reset the entire lineup and start the new guys, but this is also the coach that moved on from Landon Donovan for Julian Green on the World Cup 2014 roster. Everything is on the table when it comes to Jurgen Klinsmann's lineup choices.
- Does Clint Dempsey still play up front by himself? There has been some debate over maybe reducing Dempsey's role with the national team. Dempsey is undoubtedly a warrior when he puts on the USMNT kit and will do anything for his country. But his best position is not as a target striker, even if he was the most dangerous player against Colombia. Will Klinsmann find a formation that moves Dempsey into a more favorable position against Costa Rica?
- Can the USMNT break down a compact Costa Rica defense? Colombia mostly stymied the USMNT attack by sitting back and playing a very compact defense and daring the USMNT to break it down. They were unable to for the most part. Costa Rica will play close to the same strategy and ask the same questions of the USMNT attack, it will be interesting to see what adjustments Klinsmann and the team make.
Colombia (3) v Paraguay (44)
Colombia dispatched the USMNT 2-0 in Santa Clara and like the USMNT they have more rest heading into this match, about 18 hours more rest as the USMNT v Colombia opened the tournament on Friday and Paraguay drew 0-0 with Costa Rica on Saturday. Colombia Captain and playmaker, James Rodriguez is going to miss the game with a shoulder injury. He fell awkwardly and looked to have dislocated his shoulder after a clash with Michael Bradley on Friday. The shoulder is the same one Rodriguez dislocated in February in a Champions League match for Real Madrid.
Seattle Sounders Nelson Valdez had an impactful sub appearance for Paraguay against Costa Rica on Saturday. Subbing on in the 73rd minute, Valdez drew the extra time red card on Costa Rican center back Kendall Waston. Look for Valdez's aerial prowess to give Colombia concerns. Colombia is good in the run of play suffocating space and preventing any attacking moves, but their biggest weakness is defending set pieces. Valdez's last goal for Paraguay was against Argentina in a 2-2 come from behind draw in the 2015 Copa America group stage.
How to Watch:
This is your Sounder at Heart Copa America Centenario Day 5 Gamethread. Watch with us.