US face Argentina in bid to extend unlikely Copa run

first_imgPrior to the start of the Copa America, United States coach Juergen Klinsmann had set the semi-finals as a target but will now need a new goal as the hosts prepare to take on top-ranked Argentina for spot in the final.After an opening 2-0 loss to Colombia a last-four appearance seemed a lofty objective but Klinsmann’s squad responded with wins against Costa Rica, Paraguay and Ecuador to set up a clash against the South American giants in Houston.HOME ADVANTAGEThe United States will enjoy home-field advantage on Tuesday but that is likely to be the only thing in their favour as they take on the world’s top-ranked team led by the world’s best player in Lionel Messi.”This is a special moment. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Klinsmann said in a report on the US Soccer website. “You got into the semi-final, you made yourself proud, now go for more.”Reaching the Copa final would be the greatest achievement of Klinsmann’s five-year tenure with the United States and quiet speculation about his future with the team.ARGENTINA DETERMINEDArgentina, world champions in 1978 and 1986, will be determined to return home with the Copa silverware for the first time since 1993.Certainly all the pressure will be on Argentina, who are the only team in the tournament to win all four of their matches, including a ruthless 4-1 quarter-final win against Venezuela.If the US are to have any chance of reaching the June 26th final they will have to find a way of containing Messi, who is one goal shy of becoming Argentina’s all-time top scorer.advertisementMessi, who turns 29 on Friday, has a trophy case packed with individual and club honours but the Barcelona man is still seeking his first international trophy in Argentine colours.Back to full fitness after starting the tournament coming off the bench due to back problems, Messi did not start a match until the quarters but has four goals and trails only Chile’s Eduardo Vargas (six) for the tournament’s Golden Boot.While Messi is the undisputed headliner for Argentina, the team are far from a one-man show.The US will have plenty of bases to cover facing a lineup that includes Messi’s Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano and the Manchester City duo of defender Nicolas Otamendi and forward Sergio Agero, who was second in Premier League scoring last season.”We don’t want to make (Argentina) out to be mission impossible,?? said US midfielder Michael Bradley.”At the end of the day, whoever is sharper, whoever has more guys who can compete at a high level and understand the moment, that’s typically which team has a better chance to win.”last_img read more

Neighbors assail Navigation Center

first_img Seven months after the Navigation Center opened in central Vancouver and started offering services to people experiencing homelessness, neighbors are complaining that they were misled by the city about what the center would mean for their homes and businesses.Nearby residents claim their once-quiet neighborhood is now unrecognizable. Among their list of grievances: people harassing them on the sidewalks, dealing and ingesting drugs in plain sight, and defecating on their property.A Vancouver Police Department study of the surrounding neighborhood suggests that crime in the area remained steady following the opening of the shelter. However, criminal activity now seems to be centered closely around the day center’s location at 2108 Grand Blvd.Rachel Weber was the first of nine people who sat before the city council Monday and explained how the character of their neighborhood had changed since the Navigation Center opened.“Eighteen months ago, I attended a hearing here for the proposed day center,” Weber said.“Since then, I have created a group of over 200 people in the immediate 10-block radius that have been affected,” Weber continued.From her home in the neighborhood, she watches people take drugs intravenously two to three times a week, she said.“The citizens in the community are getting angry. I can feel the tension rising. Every single day, it is stressful for me to even get out of my car and get into my house,” Weber told the council. “I really think that the day center needs to be re-evaluated. It is mismanaged, mostly because there’s not enough staff involved that are qualified.” click to enlargelast_img read more