Group C: Argentina v. USA
Time: 20:50 (local) / 20:50 ET / 00:50 GMT, June 28, 2007
Venue: Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo
Referee: Carlos Candía (Chile)
Who gets the onerous task of policing Leo Messi? Or do you go to a zone? If there is to be man to man then Jimmy Conrad with his experience should get the call.
Big encounter considering the number of upsets which should worry the Argies a bit. The attack flows through Riqueme and Alfio Basile has taken a gamble on the Boca man to deliver the goods. The US could get lulled by the laconic playmaker which is why the defense has to stay alert. Jonathan Bornstein and Jay De Merit will have to collapse on those supply lanes very quickly which Riquelme exploits. One way to do is to lengthen the field with physical fitness and tire out Riquelme by contesting the ball very early. No cheap fouls either because Riquelme has found his dead ball touch.
Kasey Keller will have to watch Hernan Crespo very carefully because the veteran goal poacher has been in very good nick for Inter. Especially on corners and freekicks. Ricardo Clark who had some good minutes in the Mexico game and Benny Feilheber will jump start the US attack with Eddie Johnson up front to try and slip in through the defense and trouble the goal. Justin Mapp and Marvel Wynne should see their US debut.
The US beat a depleted Argentina, 3-0 in the 1995 Copa America. This is a different team and the US will have to fight harder to make inroads. The Argies will prevail, 2-0.