On the eve of their blockbuster Copa America Centenario opener, United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann insisted Friday’s opponents Colombia are beatable as the host nation seek to progress from Group A.
USA and 2001 champions Colombia will open the centenary edition of the Copa America in Santa Clara.
After reaching last year’s quarter-finals in Chile, Colombia – third in the FIFA world rankings – are favourites to win the Group A fixture but Klinsmann has faith in his team.
“Obviously when you face a team with that talent that they have up from – with James [Rodriguez], with [Carlos] Bacca, with [Juan] Cuadrado, [Edwin] Cardona – they’re all players, they’re all difference makers,” Klinsmann said, with Paraguay and Costa Rica making up the group.
“But obviously they’re also beatable. Every team has their strengths and weaknesses.”
“Having the opportunity to open up the competition with a game against Colombia, which is one of the best teams in the world, it’s a real pleasure,” Klinsmann added.
“But it’s also something that in this specific moment you want to see where you stand, where you are right now. I think we have strong enough, talented enough players to beat Colombia.”
Klinsmann, though, seemingly lowered his Copa America expectations.
Previously, Klinsmann had set his sights on qualifying for the semi-finals, but ahead of Friday’s match, the German told reporters: “Step one is to get out of the group, which we will do. Then we will take it one game at a time.
“We don’t have the luxury to say, ‘What would be better?’ We have only one message: We’ve got to go through the group. And then whatever comes then in the quarter-final is fine with us.”
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