UPDATE: Recap of USMNT 2-1 Ecuador
It's time for Seattle to become the hub of the United States men's national team fanbase for one night, one night that has the potential to be magical. A win against Ecuador in this Copa America quarterfinal match would be huge for the USMNT, because it's their first quarterfinal spot in the tournament since 1995 and it's a huge opportunity to show just how good they can be.
But Ecuador aren't going to be an easy opponent. They've made brilliant adjustments to their opposition all tournament long, earning tough draws against Brazil and Peru before battering Haiti to get their spot in this round. The going hasn't always been smooth for them, but they've figured out what they need to change and how they need to adapt, even in-game. They've gotten the most out of those adjustments, so the USMNT are going to need to be more self-aware than ever to avoid leaving themselves exposed to their opponents.
Key player -- Michael Orozco (United States)
The defender may seem like an odd choice to be called "key," but given the circumstances of his inclusion in the starting lineup he most certainly is. With DeAndre Yedlin suspended, Orozco is forced into the lineup and will be equally forced to be at his absolute best, because the wide players of Ecuador are going to test him fiercely. He's not going to be able to provide the attacking potential Yedlin does, but his absolute top priority has to be keeping his flank as secure in defense as possible.
Key matchup -- Bobby Wood (United States) vs. Arturo Mina (Ecuador)
Mina has been Ecuador's best central defender so far in the Copa America, consistently managing to find ways to read attacks as they come in so he can be in the right place at the right time. Considering that Wood's style in the USMNT's last match was to lead the way and clear space for the rest of the U.S. attack, he and Mina are going to be going head-to-head with great frequency, and whoever comes out on top will absolutely dictate how the U.S. attack performs.
Match Date/Time: Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. local
Venue: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S. - English), UniMas, Univision Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Gamavision, DIRECTV Sports (Ecuador)
Online: Fox Sports GO, Fox Soccer 2GO, Univision Deportes en vivo, Sling, fuboTV (U.S.)
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One fan's road from outsider to the American Outlaws
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