On your mark, get set, ready, go! It’s the Copa America opener early on Saturday morning and Will Burns thinks Los Cafeteros will fire out of the blocks…
Saturday 4th June 2016 – 2:30am BST
U.S.A. vs. COLOMBIA
Optimism is high over in the United States as they host the Copa America in its centenary year and Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will be keen to show what they do. With the home advantage this places pressure on the Yanks, however the German manager may have added to that already, after targeting a semi-final place to the press last week.
Ahead of this tournament, the US has four unimpressive consecutive wins. Three wins in friendlies (two homes: Bolivia and Ecuador, away to Puerto Rico) and one in the World Cup qualifier against Guatemala. In this Copa opener, they face a different beast in Jose Pekermen’s Colombia.
They have a poor record in history against the Colombians. In the head-to-head, Colombia has 11 wins, three draws and only three defeats against the United States and after winning all three of their last three matches, the Colombians enter this tournament on a real high.
While those victories including World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador (3-1 home) and Bolivia (3-2 away) – again they do not impress anyone. However, they have proven that they can turn over Bolivia at high altitude, so they will not feel intimidated by facing the hosts.
Colombia’s quality in the young squad they have taken to Copa 100 is staggering. Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, Chelsea’s Juan Cuadrado and AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca are going to attack Tim Howard’s goal. Guatemala, Bolivia and Ecuador… this is not.
I confidently feel that Colombia has too much talent for the U.S. and will control the ball and create many chances as they will fire themselves to victory in the tournament opener.