The USMNT somehow won Group A, and now their Copa America path looks golden

The USMNT somehow won Group A, and now their Copa America path looks golden

Published Jun. 11, 2016 11:57 p.m. ET

The United States are going to the quarterfinals of Copa America Centenario. And thanks to Costa Rica, they have finished in first place in Group A.

It's remarkable that the Americans are top of their group. They started the tournament with a pretty thorough loss to Colombia, a team most expected to top Group A. And the only reason the U.S. jumped Los Cafeteros is because Costa Rica beat Colombia on Saturday night. That's the same Costa Rica that the Americans thumped, 4-0, on Wednesday.

So, Colombia beat the U.S. As expected. Then the U.S. beats Costa Rica badly. No surprise. But then the U.S. gets a lifeline thanks to Costa Rica, who took down Colombia.

Tournament soccer is weird.


Now the U.S. will play their quarterfinal match in Seattle, either against Brazil, Peru or Ecuador. Most likely, it will be Ecuador, which is hardly an easy match, but still, all of a sudden, the Americans don't just have a spot in the knockout stages —€“ they have a decent path to the semifinals.

And to think, the U.S. spent the past two matches playing for their Copa America lives.

There is the downside that because the U.S. won their group, they now have to travel across the country to Seattle instead of just heading from Philadelphia to New Jersey, where they would have played had they finished second in the group. But Seattle should be a huge pro-U.S. crowd and, odds are, the Americans will not have to play Brazil now. So all things considered, the Americans are looking good.

This stuff sure can change in a hurry. Not that the U.S. are complaining. All is well for the red, white and blue.



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