Copa America Centenario Preview

The schedule is out, and the stage is now set!

Sixteen teams from two Confederations (10 from CONMEBOL, 6 from CONCACAF)

The US and Mexico automatically qualified for the tournament, while Jamaica as winners of the 2014 Caribbean Cup and Costa Rica as winner of 2014 Copa Centroamericana.

By virtue of their finishes at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, four teams – Cuba, Haiti, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago – all qualified for the playoff based on their Gold Cup results, with top-seed Panama taking on fourth-seeded Cuba and second-seed Trinidad and Tobago playing Haiti. Both qualification matches were held in Panama City, Panama on Jan. 8.  Both Panama and Haiti won their matches respectively and moved on.
Here are the Groups:
Groups - Centenario

 

 

Group A is already being called the “Group of Death” and with good reason. Colombia, Costa Rica, and Paraguay will give the hosts USA a tough time in their Copa America debut. The US will kick off the tournament June 3rd, versus tough opponent Colombia. The USA hope to hit the ground running as they have not fared well against Colombia over the years, winning just 3 of 17 matches.  While Colombia hope to change their current form as they’ve started poorly in World Cup qualifying, collecting just four points in their first four games.

Group B sees Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, and Peru. From first look Brazil should breeze through the group with Ecuador (one of 2 South American countries that don’t share a border with Brazil) finishing second. First group matches are June 4th.

Group C has Mexico, Uruguay, Jamaica, and Venezuela. Now I know I said in my video that this group was mediocre at best, and I stand by my word. Uruguay is not getting any younger as a squad and have not done so well as of late. Mexico has also been known to underachieve. In all honesty, I see this group ending with a surprise. The Jamaican squad will use this opportunity to show the world that they should be taken seriously. Jamaica appeared at the 2015 Copa America in Chile as an invited team, and they were eliminated after losing all three of their matches 1–0. Jamaica then went on to reach their first finals after beating USA 2-1 in the semi-finals of the Gold Cup.

This group should surprise if Uruguay and Mexico aren’t prepared.

And lastly, Group D. Argentina and Chile…..

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The rematch of last years final which saw Chile win their first international competition. Argentina has been left with a bad taste in their mouth after coming up short in both The World Cup and the Copa America in the span of one year. Lionel Messi and his Albicelestes will be in top form as they kick-off their tournament vs strong side Chile on June 6th in Santa Clara, California. Chile could have some troubles with recent resignation of Manager Jorge Sampaoli due to a reported contract dispute. They will also face Argentina in March on their road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That rivalry will continue to flourish as I see both Chile and Argentina advancing, with the winner of their match taking top spot.

Full schedule on the Centenario page HERE

Playoff rounds will be played:

Quarterfinals: June 16 – 18
1A vs 2B
Match 25
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA

 

2A vs 1B
Match 26
MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ

 

1D vs 2C
Match 27
Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA
2D vs 1C
Match 28
Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA

 

Semifinals: June 21 & 22
Winner match 25 vs Winner match 27 NRG Stadium – Houston, TX

 

Winner match 26 vs Winner match 28 Soldier Field – Chicago, IL

 

 

Third Place – June 25

Univ. of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, AZ

Final – June 26

MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ