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EURO, Copa America Today: High drama on tap; Colombia meets USMNT again

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Prior to Tuesday’s blowout loss to Argentina, the United States men’s national team’s lone Copa America Centenario blemish was a 2-0 loss to Colombia.

The manager gets a chance to rectify that in some aspects during Saturday night’s third place game against Colombia.

[ LIVE: Follow Copa America 2016 ]

It’s the American highlight of a busy day in world soccer, as EURO 2016 opens its knockout rounds with a trio of matches in France that includes three matches with no true favorites (save for maybe Wales).

[ LIVE: Follow EURO 2016 ]


Essential reading: What does Brexit mean for the Premier League? … Is there a “Super” Copa America coming?

ICYMI: The lead investor of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres wants to bring MLS to town. … Spain’s Nolito admits Man City is an option for him.


EURO 2016, Game 37: Switzerland vs. Poland

When: Wednesday, 9 a.m. ET

Where: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Poland’s stingy defense and dangerous attackers make them a threat in any game, but Switzerland can claim a similar game (formation differences aside). Expect the quality of Polish strikers in their 4-4-2 — Robert Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik — to strike another blow for the formation in a matchup with the Swiss’ talented five-man midfield.


EURO 2016, Game 38: Wales vs. Northern Ireland

When: Saturday, Noon ET

Where: Parc des Princes in Paris

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Wales is favored in this one given Gareth Bale, though Norn Iron goalkeeper Michael McGovern is one of the stories of the tournament. Either side reaching a quarterfinal is an accomplishment, and promises to be a story of EURO 2016.


EURO 2016, Game 39: Croatia vs. Portugal

When: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET

Where: Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens

Live updates: NBCSports.com

There’s real potential for fireworks when these two get together to finish the day’s EURO matches, with names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic in fine form. Given the side of the bracket, either could be on the path to a final with a win.


Copa America, Game 31: United States vs. Colombia

When: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona

Live updates: NBCSports.com

How will the Yanks line up for their second Los Cafeteros encounter in a month? Sunil Gulati has assigned some significance to the third place game, so we’ll probably see a mixture of what worked for the Yanks in their three wins of the tournament and some fresh faces. With Jermaine Jones, Bobby Wood and Alejandro Bedoya back from suspension, we might just see the exact same squad. Now, will Colombia care?

How will the USMNT line up versus Argentina in Copa America semi?

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Stingy up the middle and hopeful on the flanks.

That’s what we’re thinking upon further review of the United States’ potential formation in the wake of suspensions to Jermaine Jones, Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood for the Copa America Centenario semifinal versus Argentina on Tuesday.

Argentina is a lethal side with the best player in the world, but the USMNT isn’t preparing like a blowout or even a loss is on the way. Instead, like any side faced with the task, the Yanks will try to intelligently devise a way to beat La Albiceleste and set up a final against the winner of Colombia and Chile.

[ MORE: Pogba’s agent admits Real Madrid talks ]

With DeAndre Yedlin returning to the fold, Klinsmann should opt to insert a veteran presence on the right side and Graham Zusi fits that bill. The coach want to double down on defense on the left while also putting Fabian Johnson close to his best spot: left wing.

The middle of the park is bereft of options with Jones and Bedoya out, so it’ll be Kyle Beckerman and not Perry Kitchen playing next to Michael Bradley.

The real interior issue is the limited bench options. With the three suspensions and third goalkeeper ruled out, the Yanks only have 19 bodies. Substitutions will be limited to Tim Howard, Darlington Nagbe, Steve Birnbaum, Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco, Kitchen, Christian Pulisic and Chris Wondolowski

Guzan

Yedlin — Cameron — Brooks — Besler

Zusi — Beckerman — Bradley — Johnson

Dempsey — Zardes

EURO 2016, Copa America Today: Italy, Spain look to advance; Colombia aims for semis

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One of two CONMEBOL teams will advance to the semifinals of Copa America Centenario, while two legendary national teams hope to clinch a berth in the next round of EURO 2016 on Friday.

[ LIVE: Follow EURO 2016 ]

Peru and Colombia vie for a berth in the semis on the other side of the bracket from the United States men’s national team when they mix up in New Jersey at 8 p.m. ET.

That’ll come after Italy, Spain and Croatia aim for second round berths with wins in France.

[ LIVE: Follow Copa America 2016 ]


Essential reading: recap of the United States’ 2-1 win over Ecuador, as well as 3 things we learned from the win and player ratings.

ICYMI: Even Gigi Buffon is scared of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


EURO 2016, Game 19: Italy vs. Sweden

When: Friday, 9 a.m. ET

Where: Stadium de Toulouse

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Gli Azzurri looked terrific in an opening win over Belgium, while Sweden needed an own goal to get a draw with Ireland. That obviously puts the stress a bit more on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s crew, who has a mighty task in breaking down Antonio Conte’s Italy.


EURO 2016, Game 20: Czech Republic vs. Croatia

When: Friday, Noon ET

Where: Stade Geoffrey Guichard, Saint-Etienne

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Croatia can clinch a second round berth by getting the better of Petr Cech and the Czech Republic, who gave up an 87th minute goal to Gerard Pique in Spain in the group stage opener.


EURO 2016, Game 21: Spain vs. Turkey

When: Friday, 3 p.m. ET

Where: Stade de Nice

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Spain’s possession game worked well against the Czechs, but it would love to get some early goals against desperate Turkey. Winning Group D keeps Spain in the driver’s seat for a third-straight EURO title.


Copa America, Game 26: Peru vs Colombia

When: Friday, 8 p.m. ET

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Colombia’s much-weakened lineup stumbled against Costa Rica, costing them Group A, but Los Cafeteros won’t mind too much having avoided Argentina’s side of the bracket while scoring a match with surprising Peru.

Colombia won a 2-0 decision at home in 2018 World Cup qualifying, and the two sides drew 0-0 at last year’s Copa America. The winner of this All-CONMEBOL match-up, one of two in the knockout rounds, gets either Chile or Mexico in the semifinal.

Copa America Today: Peru, Ecuador meet, Haiti stares down Brazil

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Group B moves to the forefront for Wednesday’s pair of Copa America Centenario matches, with Ecuador and Peru duking it out for group power.

[ LIVE: Follow Copa America 2016 ]

Believe it or not, Peru is under just as much pressure as Ecuador despite winning its opener. If Peru fails to win, it has Brazil left. Ecuador has Haiti left.


Essential readingJermaine Jones doesn’t care if you think he should be on the field.

ICYMIThe U.S. battered Costa Rica; Here are 3 things and player ratings from the 4-0 win. … The Yanks can’t sleep on Paraguay, though, which did everything but find an equalizer in a 2-1 loss that sent Colombia to the knockout rounds.


Game 11: Brazil vs. Haiti

When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Haiti was game in its opener against Peru, but now faces an angry and desperate Brazil side which was fortunate to draw Ecuador. Look for fireworks here.


Game 12: Ecuador vs. Peru

When: Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Peru can advance to the knockout rounds with a win against Ecuador, who probably remain aggrieved to have been deprived of a would-be match winner against Brazil in the opener. This will be a hard-tackling, on-and-over-the-edge battle between two vicious competitors.


Copa America Today: USMNT looks to avoid total flop vs Costa Rica; Colombia meets Paraguay

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The United States men’s national team could go from high hopes to no hopes in a span of 98 hours.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s men fell 2-0 to Colombia in the group stage opener of the Copa America Centenario, and need a win over Costa Rica to avoid falling well short of its goal of the semifinals.

[ LIVE: Follow Copa America 2016 ]

The good news is that Los Ticos are shorthanded and look to be the weakest side in the group. Meanwhile, Paraguay and Colombia will link up later in the night.


Essential reading: Kyle Lynch’s USMNT-Costa Rica preview. How will Jurgen Klinsmann line them up?

ICYMIArgentina didn’t need Lionel Messi to beat Chile. … Panama got by Bolivia thanks to an MLS veteran. …


Game 9: United States vs. Costa Rica

When: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

Live updates: NBCSports.com

It could be elimination day for the United States if Jurgen Klinsmann’s men lose to Costa Rica and there’s a victor between Colombia and Paraguay. The Yanks should take some heart from a good home record against Costa Rica and the ineffective play of Los Ticos against Paraguay. Oh, and Costa Rica is without star defenders Kendall Waston and Giancarlo Gonzalez, as well as Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas. So, yes, if the U.S. loses tonight, there should be major changes in Chicago.


Game 10: Colombia vs. Paraguay

When: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET

Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

Live updates: NBCSports.com

Los Cafeteros are in the catbird seat after handling the United States in a 2-0 opening day win, and advance with a win of any kind. Paraguay will hope to build off a dominant but finish-free draw with Costa Rica, having seen Dario Lezcano and company do everything but score in Orlando.