The United States men’s national team is one win away from its stated goal of a Copa America semifinal, and Ecuador stands in the way.
The two sides met in the run-up to the tournament, and the Yanks needed every minute of the match to pull out a 1-0 win through substitute Darlington Nagbe.
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Ecuador was without Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia in that match, and the U.S. was without Geoff Cameron, using Steve Birnbaum next to John Brooks. Regular starters for the tournament like Bobby Wood and Alejandro Bedoya subbed into the match, so using the friendly as a predictor doesn’t help a ton.
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The Yanks bounced back from an early loss to Colombia to hammer Costa Rica and hold off Paraguay despite a mindless red card from DeAndre Yedlin that will keep the Tottenham man from this quarterfinal match.
Clint Dempsey is the only U.S. player to score twice in the tournament, with Bobby Wood, Graham Zusi and Jermaine Jones also netting. Dempsey will move past Marcelo Balboa and into fourth place on the all-time caps list when he presumably hits the pitch.
Ecuador was hailed after having the better play against Brazil during a 0-0 draw to open its tournament, and then drew Peru 2-2 before beating up on Haiti 4-0.
The U.S. will be favored to emerge victorious given the home venue and an extra day’s rest. Seattle will be raucous, and the Yanks have won nine and only lost two of their last 12 matches.
Kickoff is at 9:30 p.m. ET for CenturyLink Field.