The USA fell behind early to Argentina, the top-ranked team in the world, and chased most of the 90 minutes in a convincing 4-0 defeat Tuesday night in Houston.
A couple of good saves by
aside, the U.S. seldom looked up to the task of battling Lionel Messi
and an array of excellent players. The Americans failed to put a shot on goal and their defense sprang
The U.S. finishes its Copa America Centenario in the third-place game against either Colombia or Chile on Saturday. USA-ARGENTINA EXPRESS: June 21 in Houston
USA 0 Argentina 4.
Goals: Lavezzi 3, Messi 32, Higuain 50, 86. Att.:
70,858. USA Player Ratings Starters: PLAYER (TEAM) GP/G
5 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ARG),
Left himself stranded on first goal by doing nothing as ball dropped to a wide-open Ezequiel Lavezzi. Otherwise, got to the crosses he should have and handled the shots. Excellent save
foiled Gonzalo Higuain but rebound wound up in the net. Big save on Messi in the final minutes kept the score respectable. 3 DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland/ENG), 38/0.
breakaway by chasing down Augusto Fernandez. Worked a nice one-two with Zardes to reach the byline but didn’t deliver a precise cutback. Played a good ball to Pulisic inside the box. Left huge
swathes of space near the corner that Argentina exploited. 4 Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), 45/4.
Thwarted Higuain from point-blank range with a strong tackle. Cut out a
couple of Messi’s passes. 3 John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), 26/3.
Headed a few balls out of danger, often outclassed on and off the ball. Clueless about finding a good
position to receive a ball when teammates were under pressure. Let Higuain run free to head in third goal. 4 Fabian Johnson (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER), 48/2.
Raced back after
a corner to block a shot from close range. Breached several times and gave away too much space to crosses and dribbles. 3 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), 57/1.
enough or clever enough to cope with Argentina. Lost track of opponents, struggled to connect passes under pressure. What was he doing on first Argentina goal? 3 Michael Bradley
(Toronto FC), 120/15.
Chased shadows and always seemed a step behind the Argentines. One or two set-play deliveries were okay. Needed to be sharper and cleaner and shrewder under pressure
and just wasn’t. 4 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 30/6.
No shortage of effort on both sides of the ball, but limitations of touch and guile were glaring. 3
Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 40/5.
Work rate slowed down Argentina a few times. Not effective one-v-one and hit a terrible crossfield ball 30 yards from the nearest teammate. 2
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 34/10.
No impact offensively, gave away costly free kick with a clumsy foul after horrible pass put U.S. in trouble. Probably Klinsmann’s
worst personnel decision of the tournament. 3 Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), 130/52.
Did a lot of work off the ball offensively and defensively without troubling
Argentina. Very lucky to escape sanction for flagrant elbow to the jaw of Javier Mascherano. TRIVIA.
Messi broke the Argentine
all-time goalscoring record by scoring his 55th goal in his 112th international. Gabriel Batistuta scored 54 goals in 78 appearances. Substitutes
Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), 5/0.
Challenged the Argentine backline a couple of times, won a corner kick. Tried to relay a ball to Zardes but defender intervened. 3 Steve
Birnbaum (D.C. United), 7/1.
Was doing okay until terrible error opened the door to fourth Argentine goal. NR Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 9/1.
tuneup to start third-place match? June 21 in Houston
USA 0 Argentina 4.
Goals: Lavezzi 3, Messi 32, Higuain 50,
86. USA --
Guzan; Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, Johnson, Bradley, Beckerman (Nagbe, 78), Zardes, Zusi, Dempsey (Birnbaum,60), Wondolowski (Pulisic, 46). Argentina --
Mercado, Otamendi, Funes Mori, Rojo (Cuesta, 85); Fernandez (Biglia, 60), Mascherano, Banega; Messi, Higuain, Lavezzi (Lamela, 66).Referee:
Enrique Caceres (Paraguay). Att.: