The United States will take on Ecuador on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1) in their Copa America Centenario quarterfinal. The match will be played at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA, where the Americans are expected to have a massive pro-U.S. crowd supporting them.
The U.S. were shock Group A winners on Saturday after they beat Paraguay to book their spot in the quarterfinals, then saw Costa Rica pull off a stunning upset over Colombia to let the Americans leapfrog to the top of the group. As the first-place team in Group A, the U.S. knew they would play in Seattle on Thursday against the second-place team from Group B, but had to wait until Sunday to find out who that would be.
Ecuador entered Sunday third in Group B, but they beat Haiti, 4-0, guaranteeing that they would move up one spot and qualify for the quarterfinals. Brazil and Peru are currently playing each other, with a Brazil win or draw putting them atop Group B and eliminating Peru, while a Peru win would see them top the group and send Brazil packing.
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The U.S. will be tested by a very good Ecuador team. Los Amarillos are currently tied for first in South American World Cup qualifying, ahead of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia. They have a lot of pace, especially on the wings, and if it wasn't for a terrible call in their Copa America opener against Brazil, they would have won the group.
Both teams will have to make a cross-country flight ahead of the quarterfinal, with the U.S. going from Philadelphia, PA to Seattle and Ecuador traveling from East Rutherford, NJ. The U.S. will have the advantage of an extra day of rest, which could be crucial in a short tournament. The Americans will also have a loud home crowd, something that hasn't been the case throughout this tournament, but Seattle has often delivered boisterous support.
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