Breaking News | 2024 Copa América team-by-team preview: Key gamers, projections, extra
HomeSports2024 Copa América team-by-team preview: Key gamers, projections, extra

2024 Copa América team-by-team preview: Key gamers, projections, extra

It’s time for the 2024 Copa América. With the United States because the host, the following few weeks will likely be jam-packed with soccer as North American sides tackle Central and South America groups in a bid to change into the very best crew within the area. The USMNT boasts loads of expertise with Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Yunus Musah, amongst others, however can they upset worldwide heavyweights Brazil or present World Cup titleholders Argentina?

It may additionally be Lionel Messi‘s final main match because the 36-year-old enters the twilight of a glowing profession. Could he assist his nation to back-to-back Copa América titles? Can striker Santiago Giménez lead Mexico to a deep run within the match? Meanwhile, Brazil’s Vinícius Júnior, arguably the very best winger on the planet, will appeal to loads of consideration as he appears to be like to change into the primary man for his nation.

It’s all up for grabs, and although there are clear favorites, shock outcomes are sure to occur in worldwide soccer. ESPN previews every of the Copa América’s 16 groups within the match, with the whole lot you have to know in regards to the sides, cut up into their teams.

Group A

Nickname: La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blue)
FIFA rank: 1
Manager: Lionel Scaloni
Record in previous 12 months: 12W-0D-0L
Group stage fixtures: Canada (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET); Chile (June 25, 9 p.m. ET); Peru (June 29, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +175

Can’t-miss star: Ángel Di María. Lionel Messi can be too apparent — so it’s time to pay tribute to Di Maria, who retires from worldwide soccer after this match. The 36-year-old will likely be badly missed. Di Maria is that rarest of issues — a real world-class participant who appears with out ego, constantly doing what is required to enhance the crew. He has been key to all Argentina’s latest triumphs.

Breakout candidate: Valentin Carboni. The 19-year-old appears probably to emerge because the Di Maria alternative. Alejandro Garnacho has extra tempo, however the lanky left-footed Carboni has enchanted the teaching workers together with his elegant high quality, sufficiently versatile to cowl quite a lot of attacking positions. Born in Buenos Aires, however used to play for Italy at under-17 stage.

Why they will not win all of it: It is hardly a shock that Argentina are on the high of the World Cup qualification desk. They had been the one crew that went into the competitors as a consolidated unit. The Copa provides the others an opportunity to catch up. Argentina, in the meantime, may need been treading water. Their friendlies this 12 months have been too straightforward, instructing them little. And the large query stays unresolved: how lengthy can the crew go on with its mannequin of Messi plus 10? Scaloni flirted with resignation final November, virtually definitely provoked, a minimum of partially, by a glimpse of the top of the Messi period. Much of the previous 18 months have felt like a chronic lap of honor after the triumph in Qatar.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Placed in by far the best half of the draw, it should take a serious shock for Argentina to not attain the ultimate. As the video games change into extra aggressive, an fascinating dilemma emerges. Does the standing of world and Copa champions imply that the strain is off? Or may the actual fact of getting one thing to lose show nerve-wracking? Argentina go into the match as justified favorites, and there will likely be moments when their possession-based soccer delights followers, with the rhythm out of the blue switching as they bear down on aim. And no matter occurs, they need to emerge from the Copa with one facet of their 2026 World Cup problem enhanced. A collapse on the coronary heart of the protection so almost value them the title in Qatar. The Copa is a transparent alternative to consolidate Lisandro Martínez within the again 4. — Tim Vickery



Messi: There’s not quite a lot of time left in my profession

Lionel Messi says he is having fun with taking part in soccer extra as a result of he is aware of “there’s not quite a lot of time left” in his profession.

Nickname: Canucks
FIFA rank: 49
Manager: Jesse Marsch
Record in previous 12 months: 4W-3D-5L
Group stage fixtures: Argentina (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET); Peru (June 25, 6 p.m. ET); Chile (June 29, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +6600

Can’t-miss star: Jonathan David. Alphonso Davies is often penciled in right here, however David had the higher membership season, scoring 26 objectives in all competitions for Ligue 1 aspect Lille. Davies can be slated to play left-back, which suggests his affect may be muted towards the powerful trio of South American groups — beginning with Argentina — that comprise Group A. If Canada is to get out of the group stage, David will have to be banging within the objectives.

Breakout candidate: Moise Bombito. The again line has lengthy been one in every of Canada’s largest weaknesses, however Bombito confirmed effectively in two latest friendlies towards the Netherlands and France together with his passing and pace. The Colorado Rapids defender has a chance to stake his declare to a beginning spot and will show to be an unlikely catalyst for Canada getting out of the group.

Why they will not win all of it: There simply hasn’t been sufficient time for brand new supervisor Jesse Marsch — who was employed final month — to have applied his high-pressing system and generate some cohesion. Granted, Canada did file a reputable 0-0 draw towards France, this after a 4-0 defeat to the Netherlands during which the Reds performed effectively for stretches however finally ran out of gasoline. Whether that effort towards France will be replicated whereas producing a constant assault stays to be seen. All instructed, the calls for of Marsch’s type, in addition to a expertise hole when in comparison with the hemisphere’s greatest groups, make it too large of an ask for Canada to return near being a contender.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Getting out of the group must be the first aim right here. On paper that is definitely doable, particularly given the tempo of gamers resembling Davies and Tajon Buchanan. While Argentina are heavy favorites to high Group A, Chile and Peru are beatable. Both groups have struggled in South American World Cup qualifying, occupying eighth and tenth place respectively, however they will not be pushovers both. That would require limiting the injury within the group stage opener towards the reigning World Cup and Copa America champions, after which grinding out leads to the final two video games. This match will likely be largely about laying foundations forward of the 2026 World Cup. — Jeff Carlisle

Nickname: La Roja (The Red One)
FIFA rank: 42
Manager: Ricardo Gareca
Record in previous 12 months: 5W-3D-4L
Group stage fixtures: Peru (Friday, 8 p.m. ET); Argentina (June 25, 9 p.m. ET); Canada (June 29, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +3300

Can’t-miss star: Alexis Sánchez. With extra caps (163) and objectives (51) for Chile than every other participant, Sanchez is eager to level out that at 35 years previous he’s not a spent pressure. Enthused by the venture of coach Ricardo Gareca, Sanchez is buzzing round behind the centre-forward, extra concerned today in establishing the play than ending off the strikes.

Breakout candidate: Darío Osorio. After a protracted wait for an additional celebrity, there’s a cautious sense of optimism across the 20-year-old, a leggy left-footed winger who likes to chop in from the best. He had a superb season in Denmark and scored a splendid debut worldwide aim towards France in March, however is combating to shake off a late season harm.

Why they will not win all of it: Chile’s second recreation is towards Argentina in New Jersey — identical venue and identical opponents because the 2016 Copa closing win, the best second within the historical past of the nationwide crew. Eight years in the past looks as if gentle years in the past. Chile didn’t make it to both of the 2 subsequent World Cups and have made a nasty begin on the way in which to 2026 — therefore the latest change of coach. Theirs has been a typical South American drawback: a drought of expertise following a golden era. The strategy of renewing the crew has been extraordinarily weak.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Chile have pinned their religion within the “Gareca issue” — the hope that Argentine coach Gareca can reproduce what he did with Peru and construct a crew that provides as much as greater than the sum of its elements. The new man has definitely made a promising begin, with objectives and good performances in his first three friendlies. Can this be continued now that the aggressive video games have come? The group appears to be like straightforward sufficient, so Chile can anticipate a quarterfinal, though a semifinal would appear to be the restrict of their possibilities. The major goal is to construct momentum for the approaching six rounds of World Cup qualifiers. — Vickery

Nickname: La Blanquirroja (The White and Red)
FIFA rank: 32
Manager: Jorge Fossati
Record in previous 12 months: 4W-3D-5L
Group stage fixtures: Chile (Friday, 8 p.m. ET); Canada (June 25, 6 p.m. ET); Argentina (June 29, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +5000

Can’t-miss star: Pedro Gallese. Peru just isn’t identified for producing goalkeepers, however they are often happy with Gallese. Over a decade within the nationwide crew and with greater than 100 caps, the Orlando City keeper has been dependable and infrequently excellent. He would stroll right into a greatest all-time Peru XI.

Breakout candidate: Piero Quispe. He’s is a bit, skipping, give-and-go midfielder who was Peru’s participant of the 12 months in 2023 and has since made an encouraging begin in Mexico. Some say that he’s an excessive amount of of a light-weight for the highest stage. The Copa is an opportunity for him to show them fallacious and launch his worldwide profession.

Why they will not win all of it: For a number of years, former coach Ricardo Gareca carried out a minor miracle with Peru, constructing a crew that added as much as greater than the sum of its elements. Post-Gareca, issues returned to regular for a rustic that has gone 11 years with out one in every of its golf equipment reaching the knockout stage of the Copa Libertadores, and which isn’t producing many profitable exports. Peru lie backside of the 2026 World Cup qualification desk with only one aim scored in six video games. And midfielder Renato Tapia, most likely the crew’s greatest outfield participant, walked out following a row with the native federation. Everything appears stacked towards the Peruvians.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: After a number of light friendlies, these would be the first aggressive video games within the reign of the brand new coach, Uruguayan Jorge Fossati, who has instantly implanted his trademark three centre-back system. Fossati will most likely attempt to deal with defensive solidity, and belief that intelligent attacking midfielder Edison Flores can buzz successfully across the centre-forward. The opening recreation with neighbors and bitter rivals Chile is essential. In an ideal world, this Copa will likely be to Fossati what the 2016 model within the USA was to Gareca. Eight years in the past, Peru travelled north in obvious disarray, however in the midst of the competitors discovered the group and the momentum that took them to Russia 2018 and really almost to Qatar. — Vickery

Group B

Nickname: La Tricolor (The Tricolors)
FIFA rank: 31
Manager: Félix Sánchez Bas
Record in previous 12 months: 8W-2D-3L
Group stage fixtures: Venezuela (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET); Jamaica (June 26, 6 p.m. ET); Mexico (June 30, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +1800

Can’t-miss star: Moisés Caicedo. He has been bestriding the Ecuador midfield like a prince since he was a teen, and at 22 he already has greater than 40 caps to his title. He is on the coronary heart of the whole lot that Ecuador do, profitable the ball, driving ahead, linking the play with fast passes and working past the strikers to shoot at aim.

Breakout candidate: Kendry Paez. He was making and scoring objectives in World Cup qualification months earlier than his seventeenth birthday. A left-footed attacking midfielder with the air of an Ecuadorian Phil Foden, he is stuffed with shock photographs and passes at intelligent angles. This is an eagerly awaited first senior match for the Chelsea-bound wonderkid.

Why they will not win all of it: Despite a strong begin to their 2026 qualification marketing campaign, strain is mounting on Spanish coach Felix Sanchez, who was in control of Qatar within the final World Cup. Some even speculate that this match may function a referendum on his job safety. One of his issues is that the wealth of assets at centre-back just isn’t matched by these at centre-forward. The crew are extremely depending on all-time high scorer Enner Valencia, who was overplayed throughout 2022 and 2023, and has since been paying the worth.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Expectations in Ecuador are fluctuating wildly, from hopes of a semifinal to fears of group stage elimination. Both are doable, and many hangs on the opening conflict with Venezuela. Pick up the factors there, keep away from Argentina within the quarters and a spot within the final 4 is throughout the grasp of a younger, bodily imposing crew who are usually not straightforward to play towards. The key query is whether or not they can rating sufficient objectives, given their lack of depth at centre-forward and the absence of the robust, fast and direct wingers who’ve usually been a characteristic of latest Ecuador sides. — Vickery

Nickname: Reggae Boyz
FIFA rank: 55
Manager: Heimir Hallgrímsson
Record in previous 12 months: 12W-4D-5L
Group stage fixtures: Mexico (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET); Ecuador (June 26, 6 p.m. ET); Venezuela (June 30, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +15000

Can’t-miss star: Michail Antonio. With Leon Bailey out of the image, on paper, Antonio is the star. When wholesome, the West Ham United striker is sensible within the air and a intelligent dribbler. So why simply on paper? That’s as a result of the England native hasn’t solidified himself as a dependable big-game aim scorer for Jamaica since his 2021 debut, however that might change this summer time.

Breakout candidate: Shamar Nicholson. A totally match and obtainable Jamaica roster probably would not have Nicholson within the XI, however that does not deny the truth that he is been a useful striker. Soon to be heading again to Spartak Moscow after a mortgage with Clermont, the 27-year-old has been lights out for Jamaica with eight objectives in his previous seven video games.

Why they will not win all of it: Injuries have significantly harm their possibilities, as seen in latest World Cup qualifiers the place they narrowly sneaked previous Concacaf minnows such because the Dominican Republic and Dominica by one-goal margins. As arguably the weakest crew of their group — and with a worrisome Copa América previous that options six losses in six video games — one can argue that Jamaica could not have sufficient to even get out of the group stage.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Sure, Jamaica could possibly be seen because the worst of their group, however however, the fact is that there is not a big distinction between all 4 groups. If they will a minimum of steal some extent from Mexico of their first recreation, and if Nicholson continues his spectacular type, there isn’t any cause they can not qualify for the knockout spherical. That stated, there are many questions concerning their roster, probably leaving them at third or fourth in Group B. — Cesar Hernandez

Nickname: El Tri (The Tricolor)
FIFA rank: 14
Manager: Jaime Lozano
Record in previous 12 months: 11W-4D-8L
Group stage fixtures: Jamaica (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET); Venezuela (June 26, 9 p.m. ET); Ecuador (June 30, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +1200

Can’t-miss star: Edson Álvarez. To quote West Ham supporters: “Midfield maestro, from Mexico, Edson ole ole ole.” For membership and nation, Alvarez is a rock within the coronary heart of the XI, typically doing the soiled work with essential interventions and crunching tackles that cease opposition. At his greatest, the participant is able to producing defensive midfield masterclasses together with his aggressive work charge and stamina.

Breakout candidate: Santiago Giménez. Recently ending the Eredivisie season with 23 objectives, the younger Feyenoord striker is a darkish horse candidate for Copa América’s Golden Boot award. More than only a sturdy aim scorer with stunning acceleration, the 23-year-old can be a superb passer within the closing third. Could a efficiency result in a summer time transfer to a much bigger membership?

Why they will not win all of it: With a watch towards the 2026 World Cup, Mexico are presently in the course of a generational change. When the match kicks off, many followers will likely be stunned to be taught that high-profile veterans resembling Hirving Lozano, Guillermo Ochoa and Raúl Jiménez had been left off of the roster. During a part of that course of, the most recent losses towards Uruguay and Brazil have additional strengthened the notion that head coach Jaime “Jimmy” Lozano and his males are nonetheless a piece in progress.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Mexico ought to end within the high two of their group, particularly with their standing because the (slight) favorites among the many 4. Assuming no early hiccups and {that a} backup goalkeeper is ready to fill the immense gloves left by Ochoa, Mexico’s knockout spherical destiny most likely will likely be determined by if/once they doubtlessly meet Argentina. If they meet within the quarters or semis, that is probably the place they’re going to exit. No Argentina matchup? It then would not be a stretch to see them as finalists. If Alvarez and Gimenez dwell as much as their expectations, Mexico may make a deep run. — Hernandez

Nickname: La Vinotinto (The Wine Red)
FIFA rank: 54
Manager: Fernando Batista
Record in previous 12 months: 4W-4D-3L
Group stage fixtures: Ecuador (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET); Mexico (June 26, 9 p.m. ET); Jamaica (June 30, 8 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +6600

Can’t-miss star: Salomón Rondón. The tragedy of the Qatar World Cup qualifiers was that Rondon was both in China or England, and rules stopped him going house through the COVID pandemic. Now their large centre-forward and the reference level of the assault is obtainable, and he’ll need to use this Copa to point out that he’s not in bodily decline.

Breakout candidate: Kervin Andrade. There are excessive hopes of 19-year-old attacking midfielder Andrade, a squat little determine with shut management and a rocket shot who’s making a very good impression in Brazil with Fortaleza. He was known as up this 12 months to the Venezuela squad and is prone to be gently launched through the course of the match.

Why they will not win all of it: Venezuela may cause issues to stronger sides, however they run into the issue of the underdog — in the event that they cost ahead, their defensive unit can look susceptible, however hanging again can go away them too timid and passive. It just isn’t a simple steadiness for them to strike, and there would appear to be virtually no probability of them discovering the best mix over the course of six video games. They are the one aspect within the competitors who’ve but to play in a World Cup, and a Venezuelan triumph on July 14 can be one of many largest shocks in Copa historical past.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: For Venezuela, the whole lot is geared round qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and making their World Cup debut. The 1-1 draw away to Brazil final October was a large morale increase, and Argentine coach Fernando Batista will likely be delighted that his aspect have conceded simply three objectives within the six qualifying rounds. The precedence on this Copa, then, is to emerge with religion intact. There are not any actual hopes of profitable, and even a repeat of 2011’s semifinal can be seen as a bonus. A quarterfinal can be good, however a very powerful factor is that Venezuela emerge from the competitors assured that they are going to be again in North America two years from now. — Vickery

Group C

Nickname: La Verde (The Green)
FIFA rank: 85
Manager: Antônio Carlos Zago
Record in previous 12 months: 2W-1D-11L
Group stage fixtures: U.S. (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET); Uruguay (June 27, 9 p.m. ET); Panama (July 1, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +15000

Can’t-miss star: Ramiro Vaca. He moved again house after failing to make a lot of an impression in Belgium with Beerschot, however he is a vital participant within the nationwide crew, bringing high quality to the midfield together with his vary of passes, his well-struck photographs and his set items. Vaca turns 25 through the competitors.

Breakout candidate: Diego Medina. He made a very good impression at first of the 12 months within the South American Under-23 championships as an aggressive and athletic right-back. He is comfortable within the wing-back position if Bolívia go along with a again three, and can look to consolidate his place within the aspect through the Copa.

Why they will not win all of it: Thirty years in the past, Bolívia went to the U.S. for the World Cup with a era of expertise that they’ve been totally unable to switch. The latest retirement from worldwide soccer of all-time high scorer Marcelo Martins Moreno has worsened issues nonetheless additional. After final week’s 3-1 defeat to Ecuador, a neighborhood newspaper delivered a damning verdict, declaring three areas the place the crew urgently wants to enhance: defending, retaining possession and establishing possibilities.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Bolívia are regularly supplied as much as the hosts within the opening recreation in a transfer aimed to get the match off to a very good begin. Often they’ve refused to comply with the script, rising to the event and holding out for a draw. But hopes are usually not excessive this time. There was optimism a 12 months again, after some good leads to friendlies, however all that was immediately swept away when World Cup qualification obtained underway. Following a disastrous begin, Argentine coach Gustavo Costas gave strategy to Brazil’s Antonio Carlos Zago, with out a lot enchancment. Qualification for the 2026 World Cup, nevertheless, remains to be doable — Bolívia all the time look to select up factors on the excessive altitude of La Paz. Priority on this Copa is for a younger aspect to emerge from the competitors with shallowness intact. — Vickery

Nickname: La Marea Roja (The Red Tide)
FIFA rank: 45
Manager: Thomas Christiansen
Record in previous 12 months: 14W-2D-6L
Group stage fixtures: Uruguay (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET); USA (June 27, 6 p.m. ET); Bolívia (July 1, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +15000

Can’t-miss star: Michael Murillo. The pacey Marseille fullback will likely be a handful for opponents who should cope with his take-ons and affect within the attacking third. Excellent within the air and in addition able to find the again of the online, Murillo is ready to be one of many leaders on both finish of the pitch.

Breakout candidate: Adalberto Carrasquilla. After incomes the MVP award for 2023’s Concacaf Gold Cup, can Carrasquilla achieve even larger reward on the Copa América? Well-rounded within the midfield but in addition a menace when carrying the ball ahead, the Houston Dynamo participant will simply be one to look at. It would not be a shock if a European crew took an opportunity on the 25-year-old after the match.

Why they will not win all of it: Credit needs to be given to the gradual enhancements made by supervisor Thomas Christiansen. The coach and his gamers punched above their weight with a spot on the 2023 Gold Cup closing and earned a decent place throughout the high 4 of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League. But towards CONMEBOL opponents? That’s a tricky ask, and Christiansen would not have the depth of expertise wanted to go far — not to mention presumably making it out of the group stage.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Stranger issues have occurred in match soccer, however there aren’t very many situations during which the U.S. and Uruguay aren’t within the high two of Group C. Due to the luck of the draw, Panama simply occur to be in a gaggle with two groups which can be within the dialog of darkish horses.

Third or fourth of their group is the expectation, but when they will get a minimum of one shock consequence vs the U.S. or Uruguay, Panama may need an surprising combating probability to proceed their run once they shut out the group stage vs. a questionable Bolívia. — Hernandez

Nickname: La Celeste (The Sky Blue)
FIFA rank: 15
Manager: Marcelo Bielsa
Record in previous 12 months: 8W-3D-2L
Group stage fixtures: Panama (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET); Bolívia (June 27, 9 p.m. ET); USA (July 1, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +500

Can’t-miss star: Federico Valverde. He is the usually missed quiet pressure of the Real Madrid crew, balancing out the aspect together with his spirit of sacrifice and extraordinary lung energy. With Uruguay, he’s free to shout louder. His midfield dynamism is on the coronary heart of the aspect, working field to field and unleashing his ferocious photographs.

Breakout candidate: Facundo Pellistri. Loaned out first to Alaves after which to Granada, Pellistri has been surprisingly uncared for by Manchester United however has loved a superb time with Uruguay. The 22-year-old may need been their best attacking participant within the Qatar World Cup as a pacy proper winger with the imaginative and prescient of a playmaker.

Why they will not win all of it: Bielsa’s soccer is notoriously excessive tempo and excessive power. Can the crew keep the required depth on the finish of the European season? This could possibly be particularly troublesome within the intense summer time warmth of a few of the Copa venues. As Leeds United followers will recall, when the plan goes fallacious, a Bielsa crew can go away itself extraordinarily open, and within the hardest half of the draw, the place there may be much less margin for error, this could possibly be an issue.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: It is straightforward to see why Bielsa was interested in the Uruguay job. With the previous era leaving the scene after Qatar, he had a dynamic new era to work with; a formidable backbone of Ronald Araújo, Jose Gimenez, Manuel Ugarte, Valverde and Darwin Núñez, plus the wingers Uruguay often produces and Bielsa loves a lot. They ended final 12 months as South America’s in-form aspect, comfortably beating Brazil and profitable away to Argentina, and the latest destruction of Mexico has merely confirmed that impression. No one will relish going through them — and 100 years after Uruguay’s historic Olympic gold medal, they’re candidates for a title as soon as extra. –– Vickery

Nickname: Stars & Stripes
FIFA rank: 11
Manager: Gregg Berhalter
Record in previous 12 months: 11W-2D-5L
Group stage fixtures: Bolívia (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET); Panama (June 27, 6 p.m. ET); Uruguay (July 1, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +1200

Can’t-miss star: Christian Pulisic. Pulisic has lengthy been the face of the USMNT, and he largely delivered on the 2022 World Cup, scoring the sport winner towards Iran that put the U.S. by to the knockout phases. Now he’s coming off arguably his greatest membership season, having scored 12 objectives and added eight assists for AC Milan.

Breakout candidate: Giovanni Reyna. Reyna is a identified commodity amongst U.S. followers, however his membership profession has stalled attributable to a mix of harm and poor type. He has shined in latest competitions with the U.S., nevertheless, and was the Player of the Tournament on the Concacaf Nations League this previous March. The Copa is a giant step up, although. If the U.S. do make a deep run, they’re going to want Reyna at his greatest taking part in in an attacking midfield position and offering the prospect creation the crew wants.

Why they will not win all of it: The 2022 World Cup revealed that the U.S. struggled mightily with probability creation, ending within the backside half in xG each amongst groups that reached the knockout rounds (tied for twelfth) and for the match as a complete (twenty third out of 32). Have the U.S. improved since then? Tough to say. Their solely match since then towards a non-Concacaf crew ranked fiftieth or larger was a 3-1 house loss to Germany during which the guests had been far superior. Until the U.S. ship towards a high opponent, there will likely be doubts that their assault is nice sufficient to push the match hosts into the elite.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: The U.S. have gone about managing expectations for the Copa in an odd method, speaking in regards to the alternative in entrance of them whereas on the identical time talking of how the World Cup is the larger precedence. In a gaggle that includes Bolívia, Panama and Uruguay, the U.S. will likely be anticipated to progress. Elimination within the group stage can be appeared upon — justifiably — as a colossal failure, and put supervisor Berhalter’s standing below menace. If the U.S. do progress, a probable matchup with Brazil or Colombia awaits within the quarterfinals, the place the USMNT can be an underdog towards both aspect. The U.S. just lately had been thrashed 5-1 by Colombia earlier than securing a reputable 1-1 draw towards Brazil. Getting previous both of these groups appears past the U.S. for the time being. The play of Reyna and oft-injured holding midfielder Tyler Adams will likely be crucial to the U.S. crew’s possibilities. — Carlisle



Why Gomez is preaching warning for USMNT towards South American groups

Herculez Gomez warns the USMNT to not anticipate straightforward video games towards South American groups going into Copa America.

Group D

Nickname: Seleção Canarinha (Canary Squad)
FIFA rank: 5
Manager: Dorival Júnior
Record in previous 12 months: 5W-3D-4L
Group stage fixtures: Costa Rica (Monday, 9 p.m. ET); Paraguay (June 28, 9 p.m. ET); Colombia (July 2, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +225

Can’t-miss star: Vinícius Júnior. In the Qatar World Cup, Vinicius was the newcomer who had solely just lately compelled his method into the crew. Things have modified. He is now Brazil’s most harmful attacking participant, and to his gorgeous wing play he has added the capability to function extra centrally. A very good match may seal the Ballon D’Or this 12 months.

Breakout candidate: Endrick. The stocky, left-footed Endrick, who turns 18 in July, got here off the bench in three consecutive video games this 12 months to attain three objectives, all of them vital, all of them in several kinds. The expertise of the Real Madrid-bound prodigy is such that everybody will need to see how he will get on in his debut match.

Why they will not win all of it: After a disastrous 2023 for the crew, new coach Dorival Junior is making an attempt to regular the ship. The Copa is his aggressive debut, and on the proof of the primary 4 friendlies, the crew have but to get well the defensive solidity that was a trademark of the 2016-2022 Tite period. With Brazil in by far probably the most troublesome half of the draw, they are going to absolutely be examined as they undergo the competitors, and it will likely be fascinating to learn how a younger aspect responds below strain.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: After profitable 4 Copas in 5 between 1997 and 2007, Brazil have gained solely one of many previous 5 — and that was on house soil. Even so, they’re contenders for this title. In full circulate they are often an exhilarating sight, and if Vini Junior, Rodrygo and firm will be effectively backed up by the likes of Alisson, Marquinhos and Bruno Guimarães, then they are going to take some stopping. The prospect of a semifinal towards Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay is deliciously engaging. Whatever occurs, Brazil ought to emerge from the match having put 2023 behind them and able to put a swift finish to any doubts about their presence within the subsequent World Cup. — Vickery

Nickname: Los Cafeteros (The Coffeemakers)
FIFA rank: 12
Manager: Néstor Lorenzo
Record in previous 12 months: 11W-3D-0L
Group stage fixtures: Paraguay (Monday, 6 p.m. ET); Costa Rica (June 28, 6 p.m. ET); Brazil (July 2, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +1000

Can’t-miss star: Luis Díaz. The Liverpool winger is now the undisputed king of the crew, particularly after these two objectives that introduced a primary ever World Cup qualification win over Brazil final November, simply days after his father had been free of a kidnap. He’ll minimize in from the left and infrequently wander throughout the attacking line.

Breakout candidate: Richard Ríos. He was an unknown taking part in futsal in Brazil the place he was found and reworked right into a dynamic a part of the Palmeiras midfield that gained final 12 months’s league title. The 24-year-old was efficiently launched to the nationwide crew this 12 months and highlighted his worth with a primary aim for Colombia within the 5-1 rout of the USA.

Why they will not win all of it: The lengthy unbeaten run below coach Nestor Lorenzo is a trigger for concern for anybody who has adopted the historical past of the Colombian nationwide crew. Their followers will likely be out in pressure, and expectations are excessive, however coping with euphoria is significant in match soccer, and this has typically been an issue. Older supporters will recall that 30 years in the past Colombia went to the World Cup within the USA on a run of 1 defeat in 33 video games — and that story led to tragedy with a gaggle stage exit. In by far the harder half of the draw, there are many alternatives for his or her Copa marketing campaign to go fallacious.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: Lorenzo was an impressed selection to teach the aspect. The Argentine was a long-term assistant to Jose Pekerman, who took Colombia to the World Cups of 2014 and ’18, and has an undoubted aptitude for the highest job. Lorenzo’s groups is effectively constructed, with attacker James Rodríguez free to drift in a aspect that’s in any other case extremely structured. They know the place they search to win the ball, both sitting deep with their traces compact or urgent excessive. A doable drawback — and right here the 5-1 win over the USA will be misleading — is an absence of objectives. It was the rationale they missed the Qatar World Cup, and though they’re off to a sound begin within the 2026 qualifiers they’ve solely six objectives in six video games. But the semifinals definitely seem like a sensible goal. — Vickery

Nickname: Los Ticos (The Ticos)
FIFA rank: 52
Manager: Gustavo Alfaro
Record in previous 12 months: 7W-2D-8L
Group stage fixtures: Brazil (Monday, 9 p.m. ET); Colombia (June 28, 6 p.m. ET); Paraguay (July 2, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +8000

Can’t-miss star: Francisco Calvo. No Keylor Navas? No drawback. Following the retirement of the enduring goalkeeper, the captain’s armband has been in secure fingers with Calvo in June’s wins in World Cup qualifiers. Forceful in his defensive talents but in addition with a watch for lengthy passes, the presence of the FC Juarez defender will likely be extremely vital this summer time.

Breakout candidate: Brandon Aguilera. Costa Rica’s newest No. 10 wasn’t a veteran celebrity, however as a substitute, a flexible 20-year-old Nottingham Forest participant who simply wrapped up a brief League One mortgage. Earning an help in his final Costa Rica look, the midfielder nonetheless has a lot to show and is not a assured starter, however there is a cause he made his Premier League debut in January.

Why they will not win all of it: Aguilera is a younger participant to control, as is Manfred Ugalde up high, but it surely’s troublesome to see the 2 gamers and their teammates going far with out the insurance coverage plan of Navas in internet. The goalkeeper was a literal savior between the sticks, and whereas Costa Rica’s roster can probably maintain their very own with out Navas towards Concacaf opposition, the identical cannot be stated whenever you throw CONMEBOL into the combo as effectively.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: World Cup qualifying is off to a fantastic begin and so they have some future stars to look ahead to, and but, on the Copa América, Costa Rica face the unenviable process of making an attempt to halt Brazil and Colombia in Group D. To make issues harder, these will likely be their first two opponents, presumably leaving them with a comfort match towards Paraguay to shut out the group stage. The consensus is that Costa Rica will undergo an early exit, though it is a good time to remind everybody that we simply surpassed the 10-year anniversary of an identical Group D dialog on the 2014 World Cup when Costa Rica completed first forward of Uruguay, Italy and England. — Hernandez

Nickname: Albirroja (The White and Red)
FIFA rank: 56
Manager: Daniel Garnero
Record in previous 12 months: 3W-4D-4L
Group stage fixtures: Colombia (Monday, 6 p.m. ET); Brazil (June 28, 9 p.m. ET); Costa Rica (July 2, 9 p.m. ET)
ESPN BET odds to win Copa 2024: +6600

Can’t-miss star: Miguel Almiron. With league titles in Paraguay, Argentina and the USA plus greater than 5 seasons within the Premier League, Almiron is Paraguay’s major star. But at age 30, simply two objectives in aggressive video games for his nation is a disappointing return. Might this be the second when his pace and left foot make an impression?

Breakout candidate: Julio Enciso. He made his Paraguay debut within the final Copa shortly after his seventeenth birthday, however has but to make a lot of an influence. The Brighton striker picked up an harm and missed all of final 12 months’s World Cup qualifiers. Paraguay are determined for him to return and kick begin his worldwide profession.

Why they will not win all of it: Morale is on the ground, as coach Garnero confessed after final week’s 3-0 loss to Chile. Garnero changed fellow Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto after a poor begin to the World Cup qualification marketing campaign, however issues have but to enhance. In the six rounds, Paraguay have managed only one aim. The heyday of Roque Santa Cruz apart, an absence of firepower has been a frequent Paraguayan drawback — made worse by the impression that the present defensive unit just isn’t as strong as some within the nation’s previous.

Realistic possibilities at Copa 2024: With Colombia first up adopted by Brazil, the fixtures haven’t been variety to Paraguay. Coach Garnero got here in stuffed with attacking intentions, but it surely could possibly be that his crew’s greatest guess is to defend deep and depend on conventional virtues of resilience. This is an method higher suited to tournaments than to the league format of World Cup qualification. Back in 2011, for instance, Paraguay made all of it the way in which to the ultimate of the Copa with out profitable a single recreation and going by on penalties. Paraguay’s dogged custom signifies that they need to by no means be underestimated, however it will be a shock in the event that they get out of the group. — Vickery

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Vardan Patterson
Vardan Patterson
My name is Vardan Patterson I live in Ghaziabad, India I am a B.SC graduate in Network Technology, UEM Engineer and as a hobby I created this website. I also have a youtube channel where you can watch facts videos. If you want to connect with me you can use our website’s contact us page or you can connect with me on my Instagram by clicking here or you can send me an email at Thank you for your visit on my website


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