HOUSTON (AP) - Lionel Messi pretty much ended the United States' Copa America hopes in less than three minutes. However, it provides none of the reality check of playing top teams in the world in a non-World Cup year.
A fan ran onto the field before the start of the second half at NGR Stadium, and before getting arrested, he gets an autograph and hug from Argentina's Lionel Messi.
From there it was an easy goal, Lavezzi's second of the Centenario and Argentina's fifth in the opening 15 minutes of a game in this tournament.
He scored Argentina's first goal in the 3rd minute and left with his team up 3-0.
Gonzalo Higuain struck the third and fourth goals for Argentina.
On the USA side, which went down 4-0 by the final whistle, Guzan had a handful of saves but no one stood out in a positive light, though Michael Bradley's efforts to mark Lionel Messi were met with failure.
The USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann was forced to make changes because of the suspensions of midfielders Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya, and forward Bobby Wood.
"At this stage it's all mental", Klinsmann said.
It's important to remember the United States doesn't often get to play in Copa America.
In front of more than 70,000 fans in Houston, Texas, the USA men's national soccer team was quite simply outmatched by the best team in the world. But top-ranked Argentina and Messi, who turns 29 Friday and is at the top of his game, outclassed the US from the opening whistle in front of a sellout crowd of 70,858 at NRG Stadium. Anytime U.S. demand for global football can be mentioned in the same breath as American football, well, that's big.