Thursday, July 25, 2024

U.S. soccer announces men’s Olympic roster; Euro 2024 and Copa America with exciting semifinals in store

Hello there! While two major tournaments inch closer to their finales, another one is right around the corner. I’m Pardeep Cattry with the latest, including the U-23 USMNT’s Olympics roster and a look ahead to the semifinals for the Euros and the Copa America.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Tuesday, July 9
🇪🇺 Euros: Spain vs. France, 3 p.m. ➡️ Fox
🌍 Copa America: Argentina vs. Canada, 8 p.m. ➡️ FS1
🇺🇸 U.S. Open Cup: Sacramento Republic vs. Seattle Sounders, 11 p.m. ➡️ MLSsoccer.com

⚽ The Forward Line

🇺🇸 U-23 USMNT’s Olympics roster drops

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A group of the U.S. men’s national team’s top youth players will travel to Paris for this summer’s Olympics, which will mark the first time the men’s team will compete at the event since 2008. Head coach Marko Mitrovic picked primarily from the youth rosters he’s worked with since beginning the job last September, adhering to the U-23 roster requirements for the tournament, but leaned on MLS experience for the three overage players allotted to each team.

Here’s the roster in full.

  • Goalkeepers: Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea)
  • Defenders: Maximilian Dietz (Greuther Furth), Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union), Miles Robinson (FC Cincinnati), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 
  • Midfielders: Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union), Djordje Mihailovic (Colorado Rapids), Tanner Tessmann (Venezia) 
  • Forwards: Paxten Aaronson (FC Utrecht), Taylor Booth (FC Utrecht), Duncan McGuire (Orlando City SC), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg), Griffin Yow (KVC Westerlo)

  • Alternates: Josh Atencio (Seattle Sounders FC), Jacob Davis (Sporting Kansas City), Johan Gomez (Eintracht Braunschweig), John Pulskamp (Sporting Kansas City)

Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman and Djordje Mihailovic take the overage player slots, with Robinson serving as the lone overlap between this roster and the senior team squad that competed at the Copa America. Age-eligible members of the senior national team like Gio Reyna and Recardo Pepi were not selected, but a handful of those selected have already earned their first senior caps, with Gianluca Busio leads the U-23 contingent with 13 caps. Inter Miami’s Benjamin Cremaschi is another one with reps at the senior level and at 19 will still be age-eligible for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, for which the U.S. have already qualified as the hosts.

Robinson and fellow center back Zimmerman are expected to be the starters in those positions at the Olympics, which allows the team’s more highly-regarded younger players to prove their worth as they eventually eye a promotion to the senior national team. Busio is one to keep an eye on and so is Kevin Paredes after a strong season in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg, while the goalkeeping duo of Patrick Schulte and Gaga Slonina have a chance to prove their worth as the senior national team’s shot-stopping options leave something to be desired.

The wide range of tests in the group stage will be equally fascinating. The U.S. will open the competition against hosts France, who boast several players who many expect to become future stars of the game, before facing New Zealand and Guinea. Those two matches are expected to reveal more about how good this U.S. team is, but they can take confidence from their 2-2 draw with France back in March.

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🏆 Semifinal spotlight at Euros, Copa America

The semifinals are upon us at both the Euros and the Copa America with a batch of competitive matchups in store. While France’s clash with Spain marks a high-profile start to the Euro 2024 semifinals, Argentina’s faceoff with Canada at the Copa America is all about a Cinderella story.

Still waiting for Mbappe at the Euros

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France may be exactly where they want to be as they prepare for their semifinal matchup against Spain at the Euros, but things have not exactly gone according to plan for the 2018 World Cup winners. They have scored just three goals in five games en route to the final four, not a single coming one from open play as everyone waits for Kylian Mbappe to finally take this tournament by storm. As Jonathan Johnson notes, it is eerily reminiscent of his struggles at Paris Saint-Germain last season.

  • Johnson: “Logically, some of the difficulties encountered in Paris with Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Bradley Barcola and Randal Kolo Muani have continued with Les Bleus in terms of plenty of chances created, but precious few of them being taken. Even outside of those three Parisien teammates, though, the issue of the French captain and his best position has remained a constant challenge for Didier Deschamps and his staff to try to solve.

    “On top of the PSG trio of Dembele, Barcola and Kolo Muani, there have been unsuccessful attempts to incorporate Antoine Griezmann and Marcus Thuram into the attack with former focal point Olivier Giroud barely getting a look in during his final outing before international retirement. The main issue with those combinations, some of which did not even include Mbappe as he missed the Netherlands draw, has been identifying the right fixed point in the attack with enough creativity around that player to enable the new Real Madrid signing to align himself on the left so that he can cut inside.”

While many wait for France’s stacked attack to start acting like it, the team’s strength at the Euros has been their defense. Deschamps’ side has conceded just once in five games, which makes their clash with Spain on Tuesday all the more fascinating. Clashing styles is the theme of the semifinals, with England’s faceoff with the Netherlands on Wednesday poised to force the same questions about whether the fun, attacking teams will prevail over the arduous defensive sides. Even though France have earned their placement in the latter group, many will root for them to join the former considering their talent — and it might just be the best way to get into the final, too.

David vs. Goliath at the Copa America

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The first Copa America semifinal, as well as the competition as a whole, is Argentina’s to lose, and even with their penalty shootout win over Ecuador in the quarterfinals, there’s little reason to suggest they will not make the final. Lionel Messi, as always, has played an important part for Argentina by creating 11 chances in three games but as fitness issues linger, the 15-time Copa America winners have found success leaning on others. The main man at the tournament so far has been Lautaro Martinez, who has four goals in four games and went from a bench player in the first to games to a starter by the quarterfinals. Argentina’s depth will no doubt be their strength as they eye a spot in Sunday’s final, but the fact that they were slightly outplayed by Ecuador means they slip a spot in Chuck Booth’s power rankings.

They will have the perfect chance to rebound against Canada, who they beat 2-0 on opening day of the group stage of the tournament. That was well before Jesse Marsch’s side became the Cinderella story of the competition, advancing to the semifinals after a penalty shootout win over Venezuela. The deep Copa America run serves as an impressive start to Marsch’s tenure in charge of Canada, which began little more than a month ago. There’s a lot of optimism following the team, even if they are easily the lowest-ranked semifinalist in Booth’s power rankings.

  • Booth: “The Canucks have improved rapidly, especially on the defensive end, but to pass Argentina, more goals are needed. Jacob Shaffleburg is having a breakout tournament but one of Cyle Larin and Jonathan David needs to put their chances away with more consistency.”

Despite the 2-0 defeat weeks ago, Canada will take some information from the fact that they took 10 shots and posted 1.16 expected goals against Argentina last time out. They almost did some damage that night but their inability to finish cost them that day and has lingered over the course of the tournament, scoring just twice despite posting nearly six expected goals. They will need to live up to the attacking billing on Tuesday to advance, but even if they do not, there’s no erasing the optimism that surrounds this Canada team as they prepare for a World Cup on home soil.

🔗  Top Stories

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England go through: England ousted Switzerland in a penalty shootout at the Euro 2024 quarterfinals on Saturday, but Gareth Southgate’s team selection remains as big a talking point as ever.

🇧🇷 Brazil go home: Brazil were eliminated from the Copa America on Saturday after a penalty shootout defeat to Uruguay, continuing the national team’s poor run of recent results.

🇪🇺 Euro semifinals: Ahead of the semifinals, here’s a ranking of the last four teams standing, a look at the players to watch and a preview of the potential final matchups.

🌍 Copa America semifinals: Here’s a preview of the Copa America semifinals and a ranking at the potential meetings in Sunday’s final.

🇺🇸 NWSL power rankings: The Orlando Pride take top spot after their big win over the Kansas City Current, while Racing Louisville slid a spot in the latest batch of NWSL power rankings.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Euro 2024: Spain vs. France, Tuesday, 3 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Dani Olmo to score (+490) — Spain’s attack-minded play earned them a post in the semifinals and even against a defense-oriented France team, expect them to go for goal as they eye their first Euro final in eight years. Dani Olmo might not be the likeliest of goal scorers but he has been very reliable en route to the final four, scoring twice along the way. He also leads the team in shots with 14 so far, demonstrating an ability to be Spain’s main man during a resurgent run for the three-time Euro champions.
  • Copa America: Argentina vs. Canada, Tuesday, 8 p.m.
  • 💰 THE PICK: Lautaro Martinez to score (+150) — Lionel Messi might still be Argentina’s focal point but the Copa America has been Lautaro Martinez’s show. He has four goals in four games at this competition and will no doubt he counted on for more, so expect him to add another to his tally with a spot in the final on the line.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network

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CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women’s game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Charlie Davies and friends cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

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