The 2016 Copa America has arrived at an ideal juncture for the United States of America to pull of the greatest achievement in their footballing history.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s men may only be 18/1 sixth favourites in the tournament’s outright betting, but there are reasons to doubt every team ahead of them.
Argentina are 5/4 market leaders despite being in the grip of a Copa curse after losses in three of the last four finals.
If the USMNT qualify as runners-up from Group A behind Colombia, they will likely be on course to meet 11/2 second-favourites Mexico in the semi-finals.
El Tri sit top of their section after a convincing 3-1 win over Uruguay, however they’ve had a devil of a time getting the better of the Americans in recent meetings.
Paul Aguilar’s 118th-minute winner in a Confederations Cup qualifier last October gave Mexico their first victory over Klinsmann’s side in seven attempts dating back to 2011.
Brazil (6/1), who they may meet as early as the last eight, are without their star player in Neymar, sitting out this competition in favour of the Olympics after an ultimatum from Barcelona, and looked to sorely miss his cutting edge in their goalless opener with Ecuador.
Colombia (8/1) will hold little fear for Michael Bradley and friends despite defeating the hosts 2-0 in their first game of the competition.
For all their quality, Los Cafeteros had to rely on a set-piece switch off and slightly fortunate penalty shout for the goals that earned them victory.
Meanwhile, Chile (11/1) and Uruguay (14/1) must both bounce back from first-time out defeats to even make the knockout stages.
The USMNT have already done just that in emphatic fashion, pummeling Costa Rica 4-0, and should need only a point against Paraguay to progress to the quarters.
With home advantage on their side and the Copa America more often acting as a pre-World Cup testing ground for its traditional contestants these days, the ground could be fertile for them to go far deeper in the tournament.