On the final day of the week when America celebrated its Independence, the two United States teams will take the pitches in Lyon and Chicago with a chance prove two things.
For the women's team, which will face the Netherlands in the Women's World Cup final, this may be the last time the team will be the sole dominant force at the tournament. All around Europe, huge club teams are throwing money into women's teams, and the rise of the nations has been dramatic. England, Holland, Italy, and Spain are just some of the examples of countries where club football has boosted the national team sides, while in America, the money spent is sparse.
By 2023, the playing field will be much different. But that is four years from now. Today, the USA is still the dominant team, and should win this final easily.
For the American men, this Gold Cup has been a revelation for players such as Weston McKennie and the face of soccer, Christian Pulisic. But there has still been an insistence by head coach Gregg Berhalter to play older players at times, and the inclusion of Michael Bradley continues to baffle.
There are many that think this final against Mexico could boost the USA towards a new renaissance, but the fact still remains, CONCACAF is still very weak. Even with upcoming squads like Curacao and Jamaica, no team in the confederation is going to be able to compete on the world level.
That is all for the future, though. Sunday night, the Americans have a chance to beat eternal rival Mexico in a final. I just do not see it, unless Mexico is off its game.
In the Copa America final, Brazil has quieted some critics in its last three matches, and has the chance to end the tournament in style with a win over Peru. Hold your hand up if you had Peru in this final. (Good, now put it down and stop fibbing.) Brazil rolls here to a ninth overall Copa title, and first since 2007.
Sunday marks the end of three international tournaments, and the light at the end of the tunnel for club football fans.
In the coming week, teams all around the world will be playing on the pitches around the world, with the International Champions Cup headed over to America (and all over the world). It will not be long until your favorite teams are back.
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WOMEN'S WORLD CUP/FINAL
United States (-250) vs. Netherlands (+650), draw (+260), 11 a.m. EDT (FOX, Telemundo, and Fubo.tv)
USA -1 Asian handicap (-130)
USA to score 2+ goals (-155)
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AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS/ROUND OF 16
Algeria (-150) vs. Guinea (+475), draw (+220), 3 p.m. EDT (beIN Sports and Fubo.tv)
Algeria -0.75 (+100)
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Brazil (-333) vs. Peru (+1100), draw (+380), 3 p.m. EDT (ESPN+, Telemundo, and Fubo.tv)
Brazil -1.5 (+100)
Brazil to score 2+ goals (-180)
Brazil to win to nil (-125)
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Mexico (+130) vs. United States (+240), draw (+220), 9 p.m. EDT (FS1, Univision, and Fubo.tv)
Mexico ML (+130)
Mexico -0.75 (+200)
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MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Philadelphia Union (-162) vs. Orlando City (+350), draw (+300), 4:30 p.m. EDT (ESPN+)
Union ML (-162)
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