Semifinal #1: United States vs. Argentina
Tuesday, June 21 at 9:00 pm EST on Fox Sports 1
The first semifinal features the hosts of the tournament and the favorites for the tournament. The United States have a chance to better their best ever performance in the Copa America. The US made the semifinals only once before in 1995. A win over the number one team in the world would be one of the biggest results ever in the history of US soccer. Argentina meanwhile has great history in the Copa America. They have won it 14 times. However, they are on a bit of a title drought as the last time they won was in 1993. Can Messi win the title for the first time?
The United States earned their place in the semifinals thanks to a 2-1 win over Ecuador in the quarterfinals. Clint Dempsey opened the scoring in the first half. In the second half, Antonio Valencia and Jermaine Jones were sent off following a poor tackle by Valencia and a “slap” by Jones. Gyasi Zardes would tap in Clint Dempsey’s cross and make it 2-0. Michael Arroyo would make it 2-1 and Ecuador would put the pressure on the United States for the final 15 minutes. The United States held on to win the game 2-1. The game did come at a cost as Bedoya, Wood, and Jones are all the suspended for the semifinals.
Argentina on the other hand booked their place in the semifinals with a fairly easy 4-1 win over Venezuela. Higuain scored the opening two goals of the game the first was assisted by Messi. Just before halftime, Luis Manuel Seijas had a penalty but Sergio Romero saved it. Leo Messi made it 3-0 in the second half. Rondon would make it 3-1 with 20 minutes to go but Erik Lamela made it 4-1 just a minute later. Nicolas Gaitan will miss the semifinal since picked up a yellow card in the quarterfinal.
I think this game has the potential to be a blow out. Argentina have been the best team in the tournament and their best player has barely played. Leo Messi has only started one game in this tournament. Can he put in the type of performance that will win him that trophy?
My Pick: Argentina 3-1
Conor’s Pick: USA 2-1
Semifinal #2: Colombia vs. Chile
Wednesday, June 22 at 8:00 pm EST on Fox Sports 1
The second semifinal is between the winners of the last Copa America and the second highest ranked team in the FIFA rankings. Both of these teams will be looking to win their second Copa America. Chile made a huge statement in the last round that was needed following a weak start to the tournament. Colombia meanwhile have really struggled this tournament. They started the tournament with a win over the United States but they have not won a game since.
Chile earned their place in the quarterfinals with a shocking win over Mexico. Mexico was one of the hottest teams in the world coming into the game but they were destroyed 7-0. Edson Puch opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Eduardo Vargas would get his great night started just before halftime with his first goal. He would go on to score 3 more in the second half. Alexis Sanchez and Edson Puch would also score in the second half. Lots of questions will be asked of Mexico but Chile finally showed their might in this tournament and now should be favorites to make it to the final.
Colombia advanced to the final despite failing to score during regulation. Their semifinal against Peru ended 0-0. Each team only had 1 shot on target during regulation. The game went to penalty kicks. James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, Dayro Moreno, and Sebastian Perez all finished off their penalty kicks for Colombia. Raul Ruidiaz and Renato Tapia scored their penalty kicks for Peru. Migual Trauco and Christian Cueva missed theirs meaning Colombia would advance to the semifinals.
This game could go either way. If Chile performs like they did against Mexico then it could get ugly. Claudio Vargas made a huge statement and Chile have a lot of weapons. If Colombia is some how able to find their form then they could pull the upset. They have some dynamic playmakers in James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado. Chile will hope to make it to two straight finals and potentially face a rematch with Argentina in the finals.
My Pick: Chile 2-1
Conor’s Pick: Chile 3-1