After a rocky start, the USMNT has reached the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals tonight with Ecuador as their opposition. The two teams met in a pre-tournament friendly which saw Darlington Nagbe’s late goal win it for the Yanks. The stakes are much higher tonight.
The US will be dealing with the suspension of DeAndre Yedlin after his double yellow card meltdown in the final group match against Paraguay last Saturday. It’s likely that either Michael Orozco or Edgar Castillo (which would see Fabian Johnson move over to the right side) will replace him in the starting lineup.
Other than the change at right back, do not expect any major changes for the USMNT lineup. The Paraguay match saw the third consecutive identical lineup, something that had not been repeated in US national team history since the 1930 World Cup. Yedlin’s suspension will force a change tonight, but manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s newfound belief in continuity has been rewarded in this tournament and should continue.
John Brooks was the star of the Paraguay match, and much will be expected of him tonight. Ecuador's Enner Valencia will provide quite a test for the young center back who seems to be coming into his own for both the USMNT and Hertha Berlin.
Ecuador has two quality wide players in Antonio Valencia of Manchester United and Jefferson Montero of Swansea City. The US will have to deal with them, either with Bobby Wood or Gyasi Zardes tracking them or the fullbacks must be aware of them and be careful not to get caught forward. Ecuador is strong in the counterattack and can punish the US when they go forward.
The bookmakers have this game as a virtual pick’em, even though the FIFA Rankings have Ecuador at #13 while the US ranks at #31.
How to Watch
Match time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Venue: CenturyLink Field -- Seattle, WA
TV: FS1, UniMas, UDN
Live Stream: Fox Sports GO
Join us in the comments with your thoughts before, during, or after the match. The Dirty South Soccer team will be chiming in as we all watch.