Argentina Ends Team USA’s Impressive Run

By: Drew Steiner

Lionel Messi (Argentina) celebrates a free kick goal in the thrity-second minute (Getty Images)

The United States’ Men’s Soccer teams’ 2016 COPA America season came to close Tuesday evening. The team seemed out of it from the start as Ezequiel Lavezzi scored just three minutes in to the match. Recovering from a rough start was certainly not easy for the US and they never seemed to have any realistic scoring opportunities. After many close calls, Lionel Messi finally scored on a beautiful free kick in the thirty-second minute. Gonzalo Higuaín followed after Messi with goals in the 50 and 86 minutes.

Messi’s free kick could be considered one of the best free kicks ever seen on television. He shot it in the one spot that it was physically impossible for the goalie to save. As you can see in the video below, the curve on the ball was perfect and it seemed as if the goal was in a video game and not real life. Here it is below along with some upset USA fan reactions:

Some were calling it the most important USA Men’s Soccer game in history; however, team USA did not fulfill the hype and Messi was there to spoil the run for them. It was remarkable for the US to make it as far as the semifinals, but it was also upsetting to see them get shut out 4–0. After all, Argentina is the number one team in the country according to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking while USA is ranked currently 31.

Time of possesion and shots/shots on goal (Espnfc.com)

Argentina simply dominated the whole game. This loss represents the gap between the rest of the world and Team USA soccer. From watching the game, it is easy to see how much more skill Argentina has. Their ball handling and shooting ability seem to surpass Team USA. There is much more skill in rest of the world soccer then there is in soccer in the USA. This is presented through the play in the Premier League and MLS. Not only are the skills better in the Premier League, but players get payed more. The average salary in the Premier League is $2.29 million. While the average salary in the MLS is $110,000.


COPA AMERICA STATS:

  • 16 Teams: 10 Cities
  • Leading Goal Scorer: Eduardo Vargas (Chile), 2nd: Messi
  • Leading Assists: Dempsey (USA)
  • US leading in yellow and red cards given
  • Largest Attendance: Mexico vs Jamaica (84,000)
  • Lowest Attendance: Ecuador vs Peru (12,000)
  • Golden Boot Top Scorer Presented by Powerade: Eduardo Vargas
  • USA vs Argentina: 70,000 fans

Eduardo Vargas (Chile), the leading goal scorer of COPA America 2016
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