Copa America : Notes – this is not a firedrill!

USA Colombia
Data provided by Opta
Data provided by Opta

We’re mere hours away from kickoff. USA vs. Colombia. Picking up where we left off yesterday, the win probabilities for each team from the Spority models are below:

Our experts think the USMNT will play up to the occasion and come out strong behind a home crowd looking to steal the opener against James Rodriguez and the 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists. There are stats, not just a homegrown bias behind that thinking – look at the USMNT at home vs. away below – two completely different teams!

From an offensive perspective, the USMNT creates a lot of forward push, averaging a healthy 13 more completed final third passes per game than the Colombians, but Colombia generates more xG from their opportunities.

USA v Colombia
Data provided by Opta

Colombia generate a respectable 1.76 xG on average, but they squander too many chances with over a third of their xG going off target – orange part of the right donut above. Improving that shooting accuracy is easier said than done, especially with Jackson Martinez and Adrian Ramos missing from the squad.
The key for the US will be getting inside the danger area – the penalty box and creating chances – too many possessions end just past the midfield. See the heat map below illustrating where possessions for the USMNT end and notice the orange blobs showing a high concentration outside the penalty box and what is generally considered shooting range (just don’t tell that to Jermaine Jones):

USA Possession Map
Data provided by Opta

6.30pm on Univision – don’t be late!