Copa America Centenario Quarterfinal USA vs Ecuador: Host eyeing to create history
June 16, 2016 01:39 PM NPT
SEATTLE, June 16: There were speculations that USNT failing to make last eight in COPA could cost Jurgen Klinsmann national head coach job. But effective victories in group stage to appear in quarter final means pressure is now off the German. After draws against Brazil and Peru, Ecuador went into its final game against Haiti knowing that a convincing win would guarantee progress. That was secured with the minimum of fuss thanks to first-half goals form Enner Valencia and Jaime Ayovi before second-half efforts from Christian Noboa and Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia sealed an emphatic 4-0 victory.
USA and Ecuador both are in good shape, with their attackers capitalizing the created chances and putting them into net. Klinsmann's attackers have been solid, scoring 5 goals in two matches. Ecaudor's defence has conceded just 2 goals in group stages, which makes their defence one of the best in tournament.
After Klinsmann fielded same line up for three straight games, right back Deandre Yedlin got sent off in last match against Paraguay. Suspension for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur defender Yedlin means, change in back four as Michael Orozco likely to come in as replacement. Impressive Demsey likely to continue his attacking front role alongside Bobby Wood.
The major doubt over Ecuador’s team selection this time around concerns the fitness of forward Miller Bolaños. The Gremio man scored in a 2-2 draw with Peru but then picked up a muscle strain that ruled him out of the win over Haiti. Head coach Quinteros could opt to go for an orthodox two-man front line, with Jaime Ayovi partnering Enner Valencia.
- Clint Dempsey’s game-winner against Paraguay was his 51st in international play. Along with Landon Donovan (57), the U.S. is now one of 11 nations to have two 50-goal scorers and the first in CONCACAF.
- A total of six players of USA have played all 270 minutes in the tournament so far: Bradley, Brooks, Cameron, Guzan, Johnson, Zardes.
- Ecuador is led by coach Gustavo Quinteros, who was hired in January 2015 and last led Ecudaorian club Emelec to back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014. Quinteros played for Bolivia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.
- Ecuador’s squad includes four English Premier League players – Enner Valencia, Antonio Valencia, Jefferson Montero and Juan Carlos Paredes and a strong contingent of domestic league players.
- Ecuador has never finished above fourth in Copa America (1959, 1993).