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US 1 Paraguay 3, Copa America 2007

I don’t remember watching a team play so well, create so many chances and lose. Perhaps it was Paraguay’s prerogative to sit back and absorb pressure knowing that the US would miss two(!) headers from inside the six and then gift the winning goal by a poor decision and lack of communication. For my money the US was the better, more exciting and more enterprising team. The US players came out inspired, showing no ill effects from the Argentina match.

On the first goal, our young midfield showed a lack of sophistication and let Paraguay traipse through and then Keller was slow coming off his line and we were punished. The US responded well though and deservedly drew even on a wonderful build-up and strike from Rico Clark.

The game was back and forth but the US created the best opportunities. The best opportunities fell to Sacha Kljestan, Drew Moor, Taylor Twellman and Justin Mapp. If just one of the opportunities which seemed more difficult to miss than make were converted, the game and tournament outlook would be completely different.

If the purpose of taking this team to Copa America is to learn, I think we’re learning some hard lessons.

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