The U.S.A will have the opportunity of sealing a quarterfinal position as the team play Paraguay in their final game of group A at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7 p.m. EST on Saturday.
The Americans opened the biggest tournament on home soil since the 1994 World Cup by losing 2-0 to Colombia, then rebounded in an historic win over Costa Rica 4-0. Because of a superior goal difference over Costa Rica, the only way the U.S. could not advance with a draw against the Los Guaranies (0-1-1) would be if Costa Rica (0-1-1) defeats Colombia (2-0) by six goals or more in a match played later Saturday.
Ranked 31st in the world, the U.S. play a Paraguayan team trying to revive since finishing last in South America, while qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Paraguay upset Brazil on penalty kicks in last year’s Copa America quarterfinals, then were gutted 6-1 by Argentina in the semifinals.
At this tournament, which marks the 100th anniversary of the first Copa America, Paraguay opened with a 0-0 tie against Costa Rica in Orlando, Florida, then headed west and with just two days’ rest lost to Colombia 2-1 in Pasadena, California.
“We have to set the tone. We have to keep a very high level of aggressiveness and determination going from the first second,” U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann said. “The whole squad is ready to rock it.”