By ADAM TROXTELL
South America awaits for a champion to be crowned.
Few will anticipate today’s final more than hosts Chile, who could see their national team lift the Copa America trophy for the first time ever against 14-times champion Argentina. La Albiceleste is looking for a continental trophy to make up for a narrow loss in the World Cup Final last summer.
Argentina last won the Copa America in 1993, but history is on their side. That year was the first time in competition history in which neither Brazil nor Uruguay made the last four, and the same thing happened in this year’s edition.
Elsewhere, the England women try to put a heartbreaking semifinal loss to Japan behind them in the third-place game against Germany in the Women’s World Cup. The bar has already been raised for England, as this is the farthest they have ever gone in the tournament.
MLS action is on tap for the July 4 weekend. The Columbus Crew seeks revenge from an earlier defeat at home against the New York Red Bulls, while fourth place LA Galaxy battles third-place Toronto FC.
If you will be watching any of today’s action, feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions, and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (today’s soccer on TV schedule after the jump):
By IVES GALARCEP
The Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo both went into their Friday night showdown in desperate need of victories after recent prolonged slumps, but neither could manage to grab all three points.
A Patrick Nyarko goal in the 72nd minute provided the equalizer and helped the Fire earn a 1-1 road draw against the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Nyarko latched onto a dangerous cross into the penalty area from Greg Cochrane and beat Dynamo back-up goalkeeper Joe Willis from close range to help the Fire snap a four-match losing streak. Continue reading
It is the Fourth of July, the day to celebrate our country’s independence, as well as to enjoy a holiday.
As many of you enjoy your trips to the beach, the park and the grill, today will offer a good slate of MLS matches, as well as the Copa America final, to help satisfy those of you with soccer cravings.
We here at SBI are enjoying the holiday as well, and will be taking it easy today. That said, be sure to look for coverage of tonight’s MLS action, as well as other updates later in the day for those in need of some soccer news.
Have a Happy Independence Day.
By IVES GALARCEP
It didn’t start out as the prettiest of matches, but a much stronger performance in the second half helped the U.S. Men’s National Team complete its final Gold Cup tuneup in promising fashion.
After a sloppy first half that produced just one own goal, the U.S. scored three unanswered goals to cruise to a 4-0 victory against Guatemala in front of a sellout crowd at LP Field in Nashville.
A Clint Dempsey penalty kick, a Timmy Chandler blast from distance and a Chris Wondolowski tap-in off a beautiful Gyasi Zardes run helped the Americans overwhelm the Guatemalans after a first half that saw the U.S. struggle to create good chances.
By AARON CRANFORD
In front of a record-setting crowd in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. Men’s National Team captain Michael Bradley led the charge in a dominant 4-0 display against Guatemala.
Bradley controlled the midfield, orchestrating attacks and forcing fouls in key areas in the final third en route to helping secure the victory, and helping him earn SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors for the fourth straight match.
While Bradley won’t appear on a score sheet for a goal or assist, his surging runs toward goal were, at times, only stopped by Guatemala players tripping up the U.S. captain.
Photo by Jennifer Nicholson/USA Today Sports
By JASON MITCHELL
SEATTLE — Tyrone Mears knows how to make the first one count.
The Seattle Sounders — after leading the Supporters’ Shield race for much of the season — had suddenly lost four of five, melted down in an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup debacle, lost to their archrivals 4-1, and found themselves mere minutes away from a disappointing tie to 10-man D.C. United in front of 44,410 at CenturyLink Field.
But in the 88th minute a deflected cross fell to Mears in the corner of the penalty area, and the right back with the Premier League pedigree unleashed a one-touch rocket past a helpless Andrew Dykstra for the 1-0 win and his first goal with the Sounders.
A Friday night, and perhaps much more, saved.
Midfielder Nick DeLeon did nearly equalize moments later, slapping a close-range shot off the crossbar.
The Sounders (10-7-2, 32 points) are now tied with the Vancouver Whitecaps for the best record in the Western Conference, and trail D.C. United (10-6-5, 35 points) in the Supporters’ Shield race by three points.
For its part, D.C. United ends a four game, 12 day road trip with four points from a 1-2-1 record.
By IVES GALARCEP
The 4th of July weekend is a special one or American soccer fans, as one national team prepares to try and defend a title, and another attempts to win its first one in 16 years.
Episode 219 of The SBI Show previews the Women’s World Cup final, which will pit the U.S. Women’s National Team against Japan in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup final, won by the Japanese.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Guatemala on Friday, and what we should expect from Jurgen Klinsmann’s team in its final Gold Cup tune-up match.
We also discuss the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, and preview MLS Week 18.
Give Episode 219 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
By AARON CRANFORD
With two second-half goals Friday night in Concepcion, Chile, Peru claimed a third-place finish in Copa America for a second consecutive time.
Andre Carrillo was the man to net the game-winner, as his right-footed shot from the top of the penalty box beat an outstretched Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar and rippled the back of the net in the 48th minute.
And to put the icing on the cake, Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, who has looked lethal for Los Incas all tournament, powered in his scoring chance after Joel Sanchez fizzed in a cross from the right wing in the 89th minute.
With the goal, Guerrero — who won the Golden Boot award in 2011 with five goals — ties Chile forward Eduardo Vargas with a tournament-leading four goals. No player has ever won the Golden Boot award in consecutive tournaments, which puts Gurrerro on the brink of making Copa America history if Vargas does not score in the final vs. Argentina Saturday. Continue reading