Our match prediction:
A place in the Copa America Centenario semis will be at stake when United States of America and Ecuador take on each other at CenturyLink Field. The Yanks did not kick off their Copa America campaign in great manner, with the team suffering a 2-0 loss to Colombia, but thanks to back-to-back wins over Costa Rica and Paraguay they made it to the knockout stages of the tournament. Jurgen Klinsmann’s men are eager to go all the way at the 2016 Copa America and seeing that they are brimming with confidence ahead of Ecuador game, we predict that the hosts will emerge triumphant in Friday’s football match. La Tri, on the other hand, crushed Haiti in their final group game, but USA will pose a much bigger threat for Gustavo Quinteros’ troops than their previous rivals. It has to be noted that the two teams met for the first time ever at Copa America.
Highligted Player (Antonio Valencia):
Antonio Valencia is a versatile right winger who plays for English Premier League club Manchester United. The 30-year-old is often deployed as a right-back too, both at the club and international level. Valencia was a first team regular at El Nacional after rising swiftly through the youth ranks. He would then move to Spanish side Villarreal whose time at the club was spent on loans to Recreativo and Wigan Athletic. After impressing for them on loan, Wigan Athletic signed Valencia permanently in 2008. His performance for them soon attracted interest from several high profile clubs and Valencia eventually signed for Manchester United. He was touted as a replacement to Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford and would go on to win many titles with them. Valencia made his national debut in 2005 and represented in two FIFA World Cups and as many Copa America. He has won 80 caps for his nation and scored eight goals so far.
Highlighted Team (United States):
The United States Men’s National Soccer Team commonly referred to as the USMNT have been playing at the international level since 1916 and their debut 3-2 win at Sweden. The USMNT have first appeared at a FIFA World Cup in 1930 when they achieved their best ever result by reaching the semi-final of the competition and ultimately finishing third, which remains the joint highest finish of any team outside of the UEFA and CONMEBOL confederations. Following the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the United States did not qualify for the tournament until 1990. The US also hosted the competition in 1994, going out to lose to Brazil in the round of 16. Hosts of the Copa America Centenario, the United States will try to record a noticeable result on home soil under the leadership of Germany legend Jurgen Klinsmann. The US have bright history in the century-old tournament and will hope to repeat the glorious 1995 run when they finished fourth.