The end is near for the young Americans but unlike the match against Argentina the U.S. showed a lot and deserved better.
The U.S. had a multitude of chances from the start but capitalized on only one. Ricardo Clark finished off a nifty play that started from the right flank as Drew Moor whipped a cross inside the area, which Taylor Twellman then fed to Clark, who buried into the back of the net. The goal offset an earlier strike from Edgar Barreto.
But the Americans had so many more chances. Sacha Kljestan pushed an open header wide early on that in some ways set the tone for the missed opportunities. Eddie Johnson couldn't get his foot to a pass from Drew Moor after Johnson had raced past a pair of Paraguayan defenders inside the area.
In the second half, the U.S. failed to put away a shot even after starting goalkeeper Justo Villar was replaced by Aldo Bobadilla. Moor had the worst miss of the night as he was completely alone in front of the goal but sent a header right to Bobadilla.
Clark nearly scored again when he smoked a rocket on goal but Bobadilla did well to dive and push it out of bounds.
Still, Paraguay took advantage of a mistake early on in the second half and bagged a late free kick to make the match appear more one-sided than it was.
The U.S. can feel proud that they went down swinging but in the end it's another bad result. Two losses from two Copa America games cannot be spun any other way. Yes, the players gain valuable experience from participating in this tournament and facing players like Messi, Riquelme and Roque Santa Cruz but the U.S. should be past the point of using tournaments like this to test players.
The U.S. was faced with a difficult situation in selecting a roster for this tournament but once the roster was set and the players selected for the matches, there's no point in second-guessing. The results are what speak volumes now, and the U.S. has not gained anything in two games.
As far as their chances of advancing, they are difficult to say the least. First, the U.S. needs a win over Colombia. That is of the utmost importance, but that is also obvious.
The best the US can do is finish in third place and not be the worst third-place team.
In Group A, Venezuela is already through. Peru and Uruguay are each on three points, but Uruguay is at a minus-two goal differential. Venezuela needs to beat Uruguay, preferably by two more goals, and Peru needs to beat or tie Bolivia. If that happens, Uruguay would be in third place with three points and at least a minus three goal differential (if Venezuela wins by one goal).
In Group B, Mexico has six while Brazil and Chile each have three. Mexico can help out the U.S. by whipping Chile, who have a minus-one goal differential. Brazil plays Ecuador but Chile is likely to finish third unless they win. If Chile and Brazil each win, three teams would have six points from that group and that third place team would be the best third place team.