The United States were comprehensively beaten by Argentina in the Copa America Centenario semifinals. There's just no pretty way to try and paint a 4-0 defeat. Silver-linings or moral victories? There were none.
With only 33% of the possession, the Americans were totally and utterly outclassed by the far superior Argentinians and their lineup of world-class talent.
According to ESPN's stat guru, Paul Carr, the performance was so bad that it made history. The USMNT didn't manage a single shot on target for the 90 minutes for the first time since at least 1998 and likely further back in history.
Tonight was the first time since 1998 (as far back as I have data) that the #USMNT did not have a single shot in a game.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 22, 2016
There's just no getting around it. It was a pathetic performance by the USMNT. Were we happy to be there? Absolutely. Were Argentina always likely to win? Of course. Does it make the result and performance any more tolerable? I don't believe so. It's still unacceptable to not muster a single real chance in the match.
Then there's the topic of Lionel Messi. Not only did the USMNT have a historically bad night for themselves, but they also became a part of the history books in another way. Messi's incredible free kick just after the half-hour mark was his 55th international goal. It brought him over Gabriel Batistuta's all-time scoring record and gives him yet another milestone in a tremendous career.
There's no shame at all in getting beaten by Messi. He's without a doubt the best soccer player of our generation and likely will end up being the best ever. But being the team that will always go down in history as the one that conceded his record-breaking goal just adds a little more sting to the insult of the entire evening.
Some pundits keep saying that the USA "will learn some lessons" from this match. I'm not sure exactly what they'll learn other than they aren't good enough and Argentina are just superior in ever aspect of the sport to them. But, that's just American soccer. We have a long ways to go and these types of results should be motivation to one day get to that level.