USA, Colombia Set For Third Place Copa Clash

Pulisic USMNT

by Deny Gallagher

The United States Men’s National Team is set to take on Colombia in the third place game of the Copa America Centenario. The two sides met in the opening game of the tournament. On that evening, Colombia opened the tournament with a convincing 2-0 victory over the United States that saw the hosts outclassed from the very beginning of the match.

Since that night in Santa Clara, the Stars and Stripes were able to win three consecutive matches before getting pummeled by Argentina 4-0 in the semifinal.

After the result, captain Michael Bradley may have revealed the team’s mental approach to the Third Place match when he told Fox Sports that he wasn’t sure “what sense these third place games have.” 

On the other hand, manger Jurgen Klinsmann has not publicly echoed this sentiment stating the side will approach the third place match with “hunger and determination”.

The manager announced on Friday that there will be at least one change in the team’s starting XI against Colombia, as Tim Howard has been selected to start in goal. Saturday night’s match will mark the former Everton goalkeeper’s first appearance at the Copa America Centenario.

Many are speculating that this move indicates wholesale changes for a third place match that will feature a weaker American outfit for Saturday’s consolation match.

As for Colombia, there is also speculation that manager Jose Pekerman will rest his starters in this match as well. With James Rodriguez needing shoulder surgery following the tournament, the Real Madrid man could take in Saturday’s contest from the stands.

The South America side will be without Carlos Sanchez against the United States as he was sent off against Chile after picking up two yellow cards.

While both managers have indicated the importance of coming in third at the Copa America Centenario, the consensus is that both sides will field teams that feature players who have seen little to no playing time during the tournament.

The Third Place match is set to kickoff at 8 PM ET at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and can be seen on FX, Univision, and UDN.