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The Daily Dirt, June 21: Biggest game in USMNT history tonight?

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United States v Ecuador: Quarterfinal - Copa America Centenario Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Tonight, the US hosts Argentina in the semifinals of the Copa América Centenario in Houston. Yes, this tournament was originally created as a huge cash grab. Yes, it is not the “traditional” Copa América. However, this is still a semifinal of an international tournament. This is on home soil in the biggest tournament the US has hosted since the 1994 World Cup.

The game compares to the Round of 16 game in 1994 with Brazil in many ways. The USMNT is playing a prohibitive favorite. No one is giving the US any chance to actually win the game, people are calling in to The Football Show on SiriusXM this morning talking about “keeping the score down.” Fans and pundits are trying not to talk about how the US could actually pull off the win tonight because they think it’s almost impossible.

Yes, Argentina is the #1 team in the FIFA rankings and was the runner-up in the last World Cup and Copa América. Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. That doesn’t mean that the US should just lay down though, the game is at home and the Yanks should have amazing fan support. The team has played well in their last two games especially, demonstrating the scrappy nature that has consistently defined the US national team. That will be needed tonight against a great team like Argentina.

For me, it’s a fun one. Argentina has always been my second team. I wouldn’t be writing this today if it wasn’t for Diego Maradona and the 1986 World Cup win from Argentina. It was the first soccer I ever had the chance to see on TV and hooked me for life. I’ve followed Argentina closely ever since and always pull for them against everyone else.

Argentina is the favorite of the teams remaining in the tournament, but they are not unbeatable. Venezuela had big chances against them in the quarterfinal, but couldn’t convert and then made silly defensive mistakes. The US will have to limit mistakes tonight, obviously, and take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Is this is the biggest game in USMNT history? How can the US pull off the upset tonight?


America

Get hyped:

Stars and Stripes FC scored an exclusive interview with Alexi Lalas, they discussed tonight’s game and the state of the US program (Stars and Stripes FC)

Get ready for a two hour pregame extravaganza on FS1 tonight, along with JP Dellacamera and Landon Donovan in the booth for the match (Stars and Stripes FC)

Argentina: “unstoppable force” (Fox Soccer)

Take this under advisement:

Fanendo Adi of Portland is attracting the interest of clubs in Mexico, England, Scotland, and Belgium (Yahoo)

NWSL Week 9 review: Christie Rampone is still vital for Sky Blue FC (SB Nation)

A discussion of the lack of diversity in American women’s soccer (NPR)

New York Cosmos COO Erik Stover gives an update on the team heading into the NASL Fall Season (This Is Cosmos Country)

FC Tucson is looking at making the jump from the PDL to USL (Arizona Daily Star)


World

Wales wins their Euro 2016 group and Gareth Bale is living up to the hype (SB Nation)

Juan Carlos Osorio caught arguing with Mexican National Team Sporting Director at an airport (beIN Sports)

Wenger believes that Jamie Vardy will stay at Leicester (Fosse Posse)


Atlanta

Freddie Freeman named National League Player of the Week (Talking Chop)

Falcons cutting PSL prices and offering mini-suite options (The Falcoholic)