The United States men’s national team learned its Copa America fate last night, drawing Colombia, Paraguay and CONCACAF rival Costa Rica to join the U.S. in Group A. At first glance, the draw doesn’t look daunting outside Colombia with Costa Rica and Paraguay being ranked No. 31 and No. 42 in the world, respectively.
SPI projections to advance, Copa América Centenario Group A: pic.twitter.com/TyJol2C43o
— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) February 22, 2016
Even so, U.S. fans seemed crestfallen by the “difficult” draw, perhaps showing how far expectations have fallen during the last 18 months of the Jurgen Klinsmann era. Not only are the matches against Costa Rica and Paraguay winnable, they are also home matches. Escaping this group is far from climbing a mountain.
One particularly interesting take came from former U.S. international Stuart Holden, who just last month was participating in the team’s January camp before retiring.
Morning After #Copa100 thoughts: Tough group: Yes… Group of "death": No. If USA don't advance its a major failure IMO
— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) February 22, 2016
Abroad, Tim Howard has lost his starting position at Everton, even more disconcerting considering Brad Guzan has done the same at Aston Villa. Reports on Sunday indicated that Howard will be moving back to the U.S. this summer.
On a happier note, 17-year-old phenom Christian Pulisic made his first start in the Bundesliga and 20-year-old Chelsea defender Matt Miazga is said to be “close” to his debut with the club.
Midweek, Miguel Ibarra picked up a goal and an assist in Copa MX action. His goal can be seen at the 0:11 mark and his assist (which is pretty nice) at the 1:35 mark.
In bizarro world, 19-year-old midfielder Emerson Hyndman has been linked with Manchester United and Bayern Munich. No disrespect to the young man – who has shown quite a bit of promise – but that’s a gigantic leap from starting occasionally in the English Championship with Fulham.
Back in the states, Jordan Morris schooled Ashley Cole in preseason friendly this week.
— American Touchline (@AmerTouchline) February 19, 2016
And finally, former U.S. international Eric Wynalda demonstrated some self-effacing humor on Twitter.
My son just asked me – "so dad – I play FIFA- and Landon and Alexi are "legends" why aren't you?
— Eric Wynalda (@EricWynalda) February 20, 2016