That the United States and Colombia play the first game at Copa America 2016 isn’t why we picked them among the teams to watch at the tournament.
Both the U.S. and Colombia both have high hopes for the Copa America “Centenario,” but aspirations will meet reality when they face off in Group A on Friday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. How each side will fare in the biggest men’s soccer tournament to take place on U.S. soil in a generation largely will depend on the momentum it can create in the opening game.
Colombia has dominated the all-time series against the United States, winning 10 of 17 outings, including a 2-1 victory in October 2014 in London. The United States’ last win over Colombia in competitive play came on home soil: the 2-1 triumph at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The game will be particularly poignant for Alejandro Bedoya. The U.S. midfielder is among the proudest Colombian-Americans around and the son and grandson of former professional players in the South American nation. He must keep his emotions in check during what undoubtedly will be an intense contest. At age 29, that shouldn’t be a problem for Bedoya.
Police arrested Pablo Armero on Tuesday, charging the Colombia defender with domestic-violence related battery. We’ll learn Friday whether James Rodriguez and his Colombia teammates have recovered their focus in time to thrill at Copa America 2016.
Here’s how to watch USA vs. Colombia.
Start Time: Friday, June 3, at 9:30 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1, Univision
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go
Thumbnail photo via Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports Images