Day 9 of Copa America sees US handle their business and Costa Rica shocks the world

Day 9 of Copa America is in the books and guess what? The United States won the group! Today belongs to the hosts, but preparation will loom on the horizon as the quarterfinals beckon Colombia and the U.S. squads.

1) Biggest Winner: The United States

I mean, what a day for the United States, not only did they manage to squeak on by with a big win over Paraguay, but two hours later fellow CONCACAF members Costa Rica were able to beat Colombia so they can finish in the top of the group.

Coming into the day, Colombia was expected to make easy work of los Ticos, but lo and behold Colombia could not handle business against them and finished in second in the group. That means that the United States, in finishing first, will draw the runner up of Group B in Seattle, instead of the group winner in New Jersey. A big win for the United States.

2) Standout Performer: John Anthony Brooks (USA)

John Anthony Brooks has, by far, been the most impressive player for the United States. His defensive acumen has been one of the main reasons the United States’ defense has done so well this Copa America. He was voted the man of the match and with good reason, the backline (and him in particular) was the reason the USA was able to hold on to their 1-0 win against Paraguay. Even though the U.S. needs to stop relying on Brooks and the backline to hold on to slim wins, it is nice to know that Brooks is ever vigilant in the back for the Yanks.

3) Biggest Loser: Colombia

Colombia, as hard as they fought, were done in by a scrappy Ticos squad that would not say die. An amazing display from Costa Rica was enough to see Colombia finish in second of Group A. Experts weighed in, and many believed that Colombia was for sure going to beat Costa Rica and win the group, regardless of what the United States did in their game. But an own goal, lackadaisical defending and James Rodriguez coming in a half too late were reasons why Colombia can only blame themselves for this self destruction. If results go the way they are expected, they might have to face Brazil in New Jersey for the quarterfinals.

 

4) Best Tweet: 

5) Biggest Surprise: Costa Rica Shocking Colombia

In an amazing result that the United States fans are surely thankful for, Costa Rica took down one of the giants of the CONMEBOL by a score of 3-2. They scored early, got some help by the Colombians themselves and were able to hold on to hand Colombia their first loss of the Copa America. In what has been the upset of this Copa America Centenario, the small Central American nation is surely delighted and will party into the night as what they accomplished is no small feat, especially since the United States could not do it. Pura Vida Costa Rica!

6) Worst Moment: DeAndre Yedlin (USA) Losing the Plot and Getting Sent Off DeAndre Yedlin in an inexplicable loss of self control, received two yellow cards in the span of one minute. This caused the U.S. to be down a man for nearly a whole half and really made it difficult for the Yanks to get a second goal to secure their lead. This also means that the United States will be without Yedlin for the quarterfinal matchup, and he has been a vital part of the USA’s defense. This will cause manager Jürgen Klinsmann to change his lineup for the first time in four games, and it will certainly bring a new dynamic to the squad with him gone. Truly a foolish way to go out for the young defender.

7) Best Goal: Johan Venegas (Costa Rica)

In the goal that started the stunning upset of Colombia, Johan Venegas unleashed a laser that whizzed by Robinson Zapata for an amazing start for the Ticos.

8) Extra Time:

What a day for the Copa America, as these two great games were certainly a treat for fans, no matter what your affiliation is. Certainly it will taste sweeter for the CONCACAF nations today, but still some amazing soccer was played today. But now the question for the United States will be, who will they bring on to replace Yedlin? And how much preparation will they need to face off against what should be a tougher opponent in the quarterfinals in Seattle? Jürgen Klinsmann and his boys will have to be ready for Thursday, as they will need to be on point if they dream of making the semifinals.

9) Sunday’s Games:

Group B and the opponents for both the U.S. and Colombia in the quarterfinals will be decided as Ecuador and Haiti will meet at MetLife Stadium at 6:30 p.m. ET and Brazil and Peru will decide the group winner from Gillette Stadium at 8:30 p.m. ET. It should make for some riveting soccer.

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.

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