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Copa America Third Place Preview: USA v. Colombia

The USMNT looks to bounce back from a disappointing 4-0 loss to Argentina, as it takes on Colombia in a Copa America third-place match.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The United States Men's National Team looks to finish the Copa America on a high note, as it faces Colombia in a third-place match.

The USMNT is looking to bounce back from a 4-0 loss semifinal to Argentina. Colombia lost its semifinal 2-0 to Chile, in a game in which the second half was delayed two hours due to storms.

The Colombian's will be confident, having defeated the U.S. 2-0 in their opening Group A game.

Los Cafeteros' backline is anchored by A.C. Milan centerback Cristián Zapata. The 6'2'' veteran Zapata is dominant in the air and great at building out of the back.

The attack is led by Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez. Rodriguez has 2 goals and an assist despite playing with a shoulder injury. Rodriguez can pick the U.S. defense apart with his excellent passing.

The Colombian midfield won't be at full strength, as center midfielder Carlos Sanchez is suspended due to a red card he received against Argentina.

Star striker, Carlos Bacca missed the last match with a minor injury and it is unclear if he will be fit for this game. If Bacca does feature, he'll be a handful for the USMNT defense.

Bacca has a high motor and is a deadly finisher in the box. With only one goal in the tournament, he hasn't played up to his potential, but make no mistake he can win games.

Look for Los Cafeteros to lineup in a 4-5-1. The Colombians play a fast and physical style that isn't reliant on possession.

Colombia Roster:

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Robinson Zapata (Santa Fe), Cristian Bonilla (Atletico Nacional)

Defenders: Felipe Aguilar (Atletico Nacional), Santiago Arias (PSV), Farid Diaz (Atletico Nacional), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors), Yerry Mina (Sante Fe), Cristián Zapata (AC Milan), Jeison Murillo (Inter Milan), Stefan Medina (Pachuca)

Midfielders: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa), Guillermo Celis (Junior FC), Daniel Torres (Independiente Medellin), Andres Roa (Deportivo Cali), Sebastian Perez (Atletico Nacional), Edwin Cardona (Monterrey)

Forwards: Carlos Bacca (AC Milan), Dayro Moreno (Tijuana), Roger Martinez (Racing Club), Marlos Moreno (Atletico Nacional)

U.S. Roster:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Ethan Horvath (Molde IK)

Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Jurgen Klinsmann will likely continue with his first choice Starting XI, however he may consider deploying a younger lineup. Regardless of the personnel he uses, expect a 4-4-2.

Projected Lineup:

The backline is likely to consist of Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, and DeAndre Yedlin.

The U.S. sorely missed Alejandro Bedoya and Jermaine Jones against Argentina. Expect the midfield to consist of Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, and Zardes.

Bradley has been uncharacteristically poor in the past few matches and needs to be in better form against Colombia. Klinsmann should deploy Bradley as #6. Bradley is better when he drops deeper and isn't forced to act as a playmaking #10.

Bobby Wood and Clint Dempsey are expected to feature up top. Wood should be fresh for this match, after missing the Argentina game through suspension. The USMNT missed his incisive, space creating runs.

Dempsey has been the best U.S. player and the battles between him and centerbacks Jeison Murillo, as well as Cristián Zapata, will be key to the outcome of the game.

If Klinsmann selects an inexperienced team, then Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic will start. Otherwise, look for these two to come off of the bench if the U.S. needs a goal.

The USMNT needs to improve its set piece defense. The team has struggled defending dead-ball situations throughout the tournament. In the first match between the teams, Colombia scored both of its goals via set pieces.

Both teams want third-place medals, after suffering disappointing semifinal losses. However, third-place matches often lack the intensity of other tournament games and players may not be fully focused on this match.

While I think the U.S. will put in a better performance this time against Los Cafeteros, I expect Colombia to win 2-1.