USA vs. Colombia: Group A Rematch For Third-Place Preview & Picks

Kevin Stott

Thursday, June 23, 2016 2:47 PM GMT

Thursday, Jun. 23, 2016 2:47 PM GMT

Clint Dempsey and the US face James Rodriguez and Colombia on Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona in the Third Place Game of the Copa América Centenario.

USA vs. Colombia
The Copa América Centenario Third Place Game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday night is a rematch of the Group A and tournament opener, Colombia against host United States, won by Colombia, 2-0. In this rematch, oddsmakers have made Colombia -140 soccer pick over the USA (+200) with the Draw priced at +220 at PaddyPower, the Total (Goals) set at 2½ Over -125, Under -110 at Totesport with the First Half odds seeing Colombia priced at +200, a Draw at +130 with the US at +225 at Bet365. Some Props: Both Teams To Score: Yes -162, No -120 at Bet365; Correct Score: 0-0, 11/1 at Bet365, Colombia 1-0, +850 at Bet365, Colombia 2-1, 9/1 at BetFred, Colombia 3-1, 18/1 at Bet365, USA 1-0, 10/1 at Bet365, USA 2-1, 10/1 at Bet365; Anytime Goalscorers: Carlos Bacca +137, Clint Dempsey +137 James Rodriguez +150, Roger Martinez +200, Dayro Moreno +220, Chris Wondolowski +220, Bobby Wood +220, Marlos Moreno +240, Edwin Cardona +220, Gyasi Zardes +240, Andre Felipe Roa +275, Juan Cuadrado +333, Christian Pulisic +333, Michael Bradley +450, Alejandro Bedoya +450, Graham Zusi +450, Jermaine Jones +650 at Bet365.

 

United States
The USA and Head Coach Jürgen Klinsmann got to this game by losing to Lionel Messi and Argentina in the Semifinals on Tuesday night at NRG Stadium in Houston, 4-0 and end up in this rematch with Colombia in a game in which both sides may be a bit disinterested in some small way. The Stars and Stripes defeated Ecuador last Thursday in the Quarterfinals, 2-1 to advance to the Semifinals after going 2-1-0 in Group A play, losing 2-0 to this Colombia team at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara in the Copa and Group A opener, then blanking both Costa Rica (4-0) and Paraguay (2-0) as the Defense on the USMNT continued to shine in front of GK Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) who has started all five matches, allowing just 3 goals—2 to Colombia in the group opener before the onslaught from Mr. Messi and his buddy Gonzalo Higuain.

With the punchline over, Klinsmann may start Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids) here. The USMNT will be getting MF Bobby Wood (Hamburg) and Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes) back here after serving 1-game Suspensions in the Semifinals for Yellow Card Accumulation but US Captain Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) said he didn’t understand the point of Third Place games, possibly showing a lack of desire by this CONCACAF side—as well as an MLS player in the midst of his own season—heading in against a (FIFA) third-ranked CONMEBOL side looking for some positivity on the way out after losing to Chile in a rain-soaked Semifinals match at Soldier Field in Chicago on Wednesday night.

Against Argentina, Klinsmann had a Starting XI (4-4-2) for the USMNT of: GK Brad Guzan; D’s Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron and DeAndre Yedlin; MF’s Gyasi Zardes, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, and Graham Zusi; and Forwards Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski. The USMNT had 0 Shots on Goal against La Albiceleste. Again, here in a game with really no meaning, Klinsmann could play some players who haven’t seen much Playing Time yet.

 

Colombia
Colombia and Head Coach José Pékerman were beaten by Chile 2-0 after two quick goals on Wednesday night in the semifinals before a long Rain Delay at Soldier Field in Chicago at Halftime forced a 2nd Half of nothingness in a boggy, waterlogged field although the referee let two potential penalty Kicks for La Tricolori go, possibly because of the long delay, possibly because it was getting late in the match and possibly because Chile was up 2-0 anyway.

Chile advanced to this Semifinals match by beating Peru, 4-3 in a Penalty Kick Shootout at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey after its Quarterfinal match ended up tied 0-0 after 90 minutes. (There was no Extra Time in the Quarterfinal and Semifinal Rounds of Copa América.) Now James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), GK David Ospina (Arsenal) and Colombia get/have to face the US in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday night in a meaningless game, although Colombia never wants to lose to the US, while this Red, white and Blue team may be more disinterested and playing more backups, although talented, in this weird betting spot where motivation becomes a huge question mark.

Nobody wants to get hurt in a Third Place game and parent clubs of the players (and agents) may chirp to the national teams about (not) playing their particular players in a game like this one. In that Semifinal loss on Wednesday night against Colombia Head Coach Pékerman had a Starting XI of: GK David Ospina; Cristian Zapata, Santiago Arias, Frank Fabra and Jeison Murillo as Defenders; a MF of Carlos Sánchez—who received a Red Card in the loss to Chile and is out—Edwin Cardona, Daniel Torres, Juan Cuadrado and James Rodríguez with Roger Martinez at Forward. Marlos Moreno replaced Cardona at Halftime, Sebastian Pérez came in for Fabra at the 73-minute mark and Carlos Bacca came in for Cuadrado at the 89-minute mark.

La Tricolori had 16 total Shots but just 3 of them actually Shots On Goal in the wet 90+ minutes of play against winners Chile. La Roja had 9 Shots and also just 4 ending up on Target and 2 going in the net—a Charles Aránguiz goal 7 minutes in followed relatively quickly by a José Pedro Fuenzalida tally at the 11-minute mark in a match which looked like it would fly Over the posted Total of 2 (goals) but which was bogged down by Chile not having to score, the Rain and Weather delay, Halftime and two non-calls by the Referees on potential Penalty Kicks they would have surely called if the scoreline were 2-0 Colombia at those respective points in the game. It’s always something, eh?

 

Logical Conclusions, Team Forms, Picks
Lifetime, Colombia is 11-3-3 (22 GF-11 GA) against the USA and 3-0 in Copa América play after Colombia’s 2-0 win in the Copa América Centenario lidlifter on June 3, and the 31st-ranked (FIFA) Stars and Stripes (WWLWWWL) haven’t scored a goal against Colombia this millennium and have just one all-time, although they’ve only met three times now in Copa América play—in Uruguay in 1995 (COL 4-1 USA); in Venezuela in 2007 (COL 1-0 USA); and to open up this tournament.

A combination of potential disinterest, second- and third-string players possibly getting the start and players not wanting to get injured in a meaningless Third Place game should keep the total number of Shots and Shots on Target down and if teams don’t want to score here, it doesn’t matter and both are coming off scoreless appearances in the Semifinals. So in the end, South American Pride, not wanting to lose to a CONCACAF federation (the governing body of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Soccer Association) side and the better Roster should end up giving Colombia (WWWLWL)—who will head in here with 1 less Day of Rest (3 Days to 2 Days)—the win here with the Under just as appealing, if not better due to the possible ambivalence here. A 0-0 Halftime scoreline seems like a decent possibility and at 2/1 soccer odds (0-0 Halftime Score +200, at Bet365) seems worth consideration.

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Predicted Final Score: Colombia 1 USA 0
Free Soccer Picks: Colombia Draw No Bet -150, Under 2½ +100 at Winner
Best Line Offered: Colombia Draw No Bet -150 at Bet365, Under 2½ +100 at Winner
Free Soccer Props Pick: Halftime Score 0-0 +200 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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