HOUSTON, June 21 (UPI) -- Some soccer pundits believed that Argentina's superstar Lionel Messi has been disappointing when suiting up during international competition.
That was before his return to Copa America Centenario.
Barcelona's forward/midfielder has exceeded even his lofty expectations in his first international tournament on United States soil. Despite that, USA media is still a bit sluggish in its soccer interest.
Ahead of its Copa America Centenario match against the U.S. Men's soccer team Tuesday, the USA TODAY boasted a blundering tweet, referring to Messi as "Leonardo."
@USATODAYsports Apologies. Yes. Lionel Messi is the star of Argentina.— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) June 20, 2016
The Twitter-verse immediately offered to correct the mistake, while also mocking the tweet with photos of Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
USA TODAY's first post read: "Leonardo Messi, Argentina stand in way of historic run by U.S. soccer at Copa America."
It ran a correction 20 minutes later, stating: "Apologies. Yes. Lionel Messi is the star of Argentina." But the damage had already been done. The sports section for one of the country's largest news outlets had misidentified, arguably, the world's most identifiable athlete.
Argentina and the USMNT kickoff the Copa America Semifinal at 9 p.m. at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Messi has four goals in three games for Argentina. He scored a ridiculous three goals 29 minutes when he was substituted into the second half of Argentina's 5-0 win against Panama on June 10 at Soldier Field.
Leonardo Messi is in action against USA tonight. pic.twitter.com/WaPzEyPUbP— Pep'd (@Fishtiaaq) June 21, 2016
The Argentines, currently the top ranked national squad, are highly favored in the contest. The USMNT is currently ranked No. 31 by FIFA. Two previous match ups have concluded in draws, while Argentina is 3-1-2 all-time against the USMNT. The USMNT has won six of its last seven games.
Argentina is currently priced at -210, according to Odds Shark. The USA is +600 and a draw is priced at +325.