Lionel Messi spits out the USMNT silver bullet, as he plays werewolf at the Copa America Centenario on Tuesday night in Houston, Texas.
It was 1-0 Argentina just four minutes into the game, held at Houston’s NRG Stadium before an estimated crowd of 70,000. With the Argentina-USMNT match, the original 16 teams have been whittled down to just four, with the other two being Colombia and Chile, both of which will have their day in court on Wednesday, June 22.
Meanwhile, the werewolf that is Lionel Messi would grab Argentina the second point, while the rest of the team would contribute to a final score of 4-0 Argentina.
Lionel Messi with Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys at the age of six. pic.twitter.com/LoTRXNO4ZE— Football Scrolls (@footballscrolls) June 21, 2016
According to the Los Angeles Times, U.S. Men’s National Team coach Juergen Klinsmann had been reportedly campaigning for days to convince his country that both Lionel Messi and Argentina are beatable. However, the brave coach would not allow his silver bullet to be known until the last minute. After all, the element of surprise could be very useful in game strategy.
Lionel Messi will start for Argentina tonight, his first game starting this Copa America. pic.twitter.com/DTYk28aVwh— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 18, 2016
Still, what the USMNT was up against was a legendary opponent. Lionel Messi is simply the best hockey player of all time, period. And even Diego Maradona and Pele will agree to this bold statement. So one of the key components of the U.S. team’s strategy would have to be how to stop Messi dead in his tracks. Unfortunately, a way to do this could not be found.
Messi has also been in the pink of health lately. So the only way to stop him would have to be to cause him to be injured enough during the game that he would be considered unfit to continue playing. Even doing that if possible at all would be hard as Lionel Messi has shown an against-all-odds attitude towards being in the Copa America Centenario. He would probably even rise from his grave if a magic bullet were theoretically found to eliminate him at the game. Here’s more from the source.
Even when you know where it's going, you still don't stop a Lionel Messi free-kick. pic.twitter.com/DTlhnPwJ34— Footy Vines (@Footy_Vines) June 21, 2016
“Messi is not a one-man team through. Although he ranks second in the Copa with four goals, he came into the event with a back injury that has limited him to one start and two other appearances off the bench. And even without him, Argentina outscored opponents, 9-2, the second-largest goal differential in the tournament.”
And to make matters worse, USMNT is comparatively not in the pink of health at this time. Like some kind of a Greek oracle that brings the bad news, Bleacher Report has this to say regarding the U.S. team’s condition.
“Even at full strength, the United States would be underdogs on home soil to Argentina. Their chances will be even slimmer if they’re without Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood. Jones was sent off in the 52nd minute in the United States’ 2-1 quarterfinal win over Ecuador after picking up his second yellow card. Wood earned a yellow card in the 53rd minute, and he’s due to miss the semifinal on yellow card accumulation.”
Maybe kill them with texting? After all, the Argentina team led by Lionel is rather prone to this “vice” after their plays. However, that is after, not during their plays. Texting while playing will be tantamount to texting while driving. For sure, the practice is also punishable by law in the soccer field.
By looking at this photo in Argentina's dressing room, you probably wouldn't guess they'd just won 4-1: https://t.co/XPsWp1gXsE— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 19, 2016
Joking aside, the U.S. team’s Klinsmann has managed to stick to his commendable courage and optimism in the face of all odds. He would declare that “it’s a challenge that can be overcome.”
“Kyle Beckerman is almost certain to replace Jones and play as a holding midfielder, forcing Bradley forward into an attacking role; Graham Zusi figures to take Bedoya’s spot on the wing. However, there is no clear candidate to replace Wood, whose repeated runs into the box have cleared space for Dempsey.”
“And if Klinsmann has chosen a replacement, he’s keeping it a secret,” says the Los Angeles Times.
This is where the magic bullet lies. And, in fairness to the USMNT, the team’s remarkable achievements cannot be overstated especially since the team has obviously gone this far. To use Star Trek terminology, Klinsmann’s team has gone where no other U.S. soccer team has gone before.
Unfortunately, the silver bullet didn’t even get to materialize before Lionel Messi scored a goal that brought in the second point for Argentina. The four-point final total against the U.S. team’s zero shows not only Lionel Messi’s unmatched prowess but the fact that he has become more comfortable with the stuff called teamwork.
[Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images]