2019 Copa America: The Teams
2019 Copa America is inching closer and soccer fans are keen to see their favorite players in action. What can we expect from each team this year?
A new tournament among the national soccer teams in South America is on the horizon and, as with every year, some teams seem more promising than others. But speculation is brewing this year and many sports analysts count on big surprises at the 2019 Brazil Copa America. So, how are the teams coming along?
Before we dive into the teams, let’s review a little Copa America history. The last champion was Chile. Chile won CONMEBOL’s Copa America Centenario hosted by the United States in 2016.
In addition, the year before the Andean team also made their mark in another Copa America that took place at home. The main take-away from both competitions was their victory against Messi’s Argentina in the finals: in 2015 Chile won with Jorge Sampaoli as their head coach while Juan Antonio Pizzi led them to victory the following year. Both games ended in 0-0 ties and moved on to shootouts.
Before 2015, Uruguay won the 2011 Argentina Copa America and Brazil won the 2007 Venezuela Copa America. In short, it’s been ten years since the Brazil National soccer team has won on a continental level.
Copa America 2019: the teams
Uruguay, Brazil and, to a lesser extent, Argentina are always the big favorites in this tournament. Let’s briefly go over each team:
Uruguay’s national team is backed up with big players such as Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. It boasts a solid base and a coach, Oscar Tabarez, who’s been leading the team for some time now. Uruguay also has promising young players.
Thanks to the instability of the other national teams and their own international triumphs– forth in 2010 and fifth in 2018– Uruguay will be a tough team to beat. It shares a group with Ecuador, Japan, and Chile.
Brazil: the home team for this year’s Copa America
The Brazil National team is composed of many soccer stars and has a solid preparation routine, despite what happened in 2018 Russia– where it lost in the quarter-finals. The coach, Tite, knows just how to implement a solid defense as well as an effective offense.
Aside from Neymar, who currently finds himself in hot water in matters unrelated to soccer, Brazil also counts on other talented players such as Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino, who both play for Liverpool.
Argentina and Messi’s ambition
Argentina’s best cards are Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero. Aside from the two players, the team is following a coach without too much experience, Lionel Scaloni, and doesn’t have many good players in its roster.
The disaster in 2018 Russia marked the end of a generation of greats such as Javier Mascherano, Gonzalo Higuain, and Lucas Biglia. Currently, the Argentina National soccer team still hasn’t found players to fill their shoes.
2019 Copa America: what’s to come
After the top-three favorites, we can consider Chile, Venezuela, and Colombia for the second tier. While it might seem a little strange to bump down the champion of the past two years, it has its logic.
Chile failed to classify in the last World Cup, which spoke volumes about how much the quality of their game changed. Their iconic players Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Alexis Sanchez really took their team to the top.
As Chile falls out of favor, the Venezuela National team is slowly climbing its way up. Several of the players performed very well in the past junior-league World Cups. Additionally, the team beat Argentina in a scramble match without breaking too much sweat.
Dudamel, the coach, has formed a compact but rather imbalanced team. The team is in group A with Brazil and will have to face off with Peru for second place, which is their main rival.
Lastly, even as they go through a tough readjusting process, Colombia is a team that always means a challenge. After its terrible fall in the round of sixteen in Russia, Rose Pekerman resigned and Carlos Queiroz stepped in.
In any case, Colombia has everything it needs to put up a good fight in Brazil. Star players Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez aren’t going to easily give up a title that they’ve been wanting to win in their beloved jerseys.
Other teams and the groups
The rest of the teams are Bolivia, Paraguay, Japan, Qatar, Peru, and Ecuador. The last two have especially been showing promising signs in their last games and are also backed by star players.
The groups of the 2019 Copa America are as follows:
- Group A: Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia.
- Group B: Argentina, Colombia, Qatar and Paraguay.
- And Group C: Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, and Japan.
In any case, soccer-lovers should definitely expect an exciting tournament this year in Brazil’s magnificent stadiums. Which team do you think will climb to the top?