Copa America 2016: The United States Can Beat Ecuador In The Quarterfinals

Colin Fredericson

Copa America 2016 sees the United States take on Ecuador tonight. The U.S. has been on quite a run, coming out on top for Group A on strong defense anchored by John Brooks. The young defender could help the U.S. team bust out of the quarterfinals and please the soccer-hungry U.S. fans in tonight's match in Seattle. Another great team performance can seal a victory over Ecuador, just like how the U.S. beat Ecuador in a practice match before the competition officially started.

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 15, 2016

"He's getting calmer. He's becoming more mature communicating with the whole back line. As a center back you need to keep a high level of aggressiveness because you are there to intimidate those strikers. So he does all those little things better and better. Doesn't mean he is perfect, but he is really maturing his game and it's fun for us coaches to watch."

— FOX (@FOXTV) June 16, 2016

That first match against Ecuador was a low energy affair in Frisco, Texas. It was just a friendly warm up bout, though the almost 10,000 fans in attendance might have made it seem otherwise. Ecuador was without some of their top players, and the energy level didn't reflect what they are likely to bring to a quarterfinals match.

Jurgen Klinsmann gave his thoughts to Fox Sports on why a match against Ecuador this time will require more effort from the U.S. soccer team.

"It's not the same team that we played a couple weeks ago."
"Antonio Valencia is there, Walter Ayovi is there. But still it was a good test for us that we can play with them and compete with them. It's going to be a very even game. It's going to be a fight until the very last moment. It might go to a penalty shootout and hopefully we'll be prepared for that also."

— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 15, 2016

It's been 100 years since Copa America first started, but it's just the first time the United States has been the host. If the U.S. can come out of this the winner, or at least make it into the semifinals, Copa America 2016 might finally spark a larger interest in stateside professional soccer -- if it hasn't already.

[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]

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