June 10, 2015 7:16 AM   Subscribe

The oldest and one of most prestigious international football competitions, the Copa America, begins Thursday as hosts Chile play Ecuador.

All eyes are (as usual) set on two teams: Brazil and Argentina. Brazil comes from a disastrous World Cup, where after solid but unconvincing performances during the group and knockout stage, were stunned in the Mineirazo, the 1-7 defeat at the hands of future World Champions Germany, followed by a lackluster performance in the third place match resulting in a 0-3 defeat against the Netherlands. Argentina, the runners up in the World Cup, have recent history against them: their last victory in the competition was in 1993, in a team with players such as Diego Simeone (currently Atlético Madrid coach), Fernando Redondo and Gabriel Bastistuta. Both teams are spearheaded by two recent Champions League winners: Neymar and Messi, but the third part of the fearsome trident, Luis Suarez is still suspended from international play following last Summer's biting accident. For Messi, a win here will top a nearly perfect season, lock the 2016 Ballon D'Or, and finally dispel the criticism surrounding his level of play for Argentina. Of course, both teams have plenty of stars: Di Maria, Higuain, Aguero Mascherano, Tevez and Lamela for the alviceleste, and David Luiz, Fernandinho, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva and Robinho for the canarinha.

But the race is still open: Colombia, who danced their way into a (literally) hard-fought and very controversial quarter-final defeat against Brazil last Summer will lean on their offense, with a stable of former FC Porto players (Strikers Jackson Martinez and Radamel Falcao, who arrives at the competition trying to get his career back on track following a severe knee injury that prevented him from playing in the World Cup and an oddly unproductive loan spell on Manchester United and finally last World Cup's breakout star and Golden Boot James Rodriguez of Real Madrid), as well as Europa League winner Carlos Bacca from Sevilla. Uruguay, current cup holders, are without the before mentioned Luis Suarez and the now retired Diego Forlán, and will rely on Edinson Cavani of PSG to provide goals, while captain Godín (Atletico Madrid) will prevent others from doing the same. Hosts Chile, also knocked out by Brazil last Summer, have a number of players in top european teams, such as Barcelona backup goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (whom they expect to repeat the heroics of last Summer), hard man Arturo Vidal from Juventus and Alexis Sanchéz from Arsenal. Mexico, invited again for the tournament, will try to act as spoilers and become the first invited team to win the competition.

Having its first edition in 1916, Uruguay enters this years' tournament with 15 titles, with Argentina coming second with 14. Brazil is a distant third with 8, Paraguay and Peru won a couple each and Colombia and Bolivia close the winners circle with won one each. Wikipedia has a list of international broadcasters. Competition runs until July 4.
posted by lmfsilva (12 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by josher71 at 7:28 AM on June 10, 2015

Dude, respect and all, but MeFi is like the one corner of my life without Copa América in it. (I'm in Chile)
posted by signal at 7:40 AM on June 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Not anymore. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

(really, I feel for you, signal. 2004 was terrible and caused me to burn out of football for some time - for like 4 months all that mattered here were the odds that Porto and Mourinho would actually win the Champions League after knocking out Man Utd away, which didn't suck, and then the whole Euro 2004 overload with the somewhat fascistic flags on the windowsill stuff and so on)
posted by lmfsilva at 7:52 AM on June 10, 2015

Beat me to the post!

Like last time around, the Copa America matches will be streamed live on YouTube in many countries, including the UK and most European countries.
posted by Kattullus at 8:03 AM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Picture of Woody and Buzz here)

Tournaments Everywhere! We're talking about the Women's World Cup over here and I'd love the South American perspective there. I have a horrible USA USA USA bias, though I'm not so biased that I won't admit that Brazil's Marta (Marta Vieira da Silva) is the best player in Women's game, period, end of statement.

So, Copa América. Gotta favor Argentina, but you know Brazil has to prove that they can play after the World Cup disaster. I remember watch that semi final -- sitting at a pool bar at a Disney World Resort, next to an Everton supporter, we were *gobsmacked* at what was happening. This just didn't happen in a World Cup semifinal, did it? But with Neymar back, maybe Brazil can bring back the glory.

And as a treat, back to back finals -- the Women's World Cup final will be on July 5th. Great year for the beautiful game!
posted by eriko at 8:11 AM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by poffin boffin at 8:31 AM on June 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

I'm pulling for Chile.
posted by josher71 at 8:59 AM on June 10, 2015


You know, it will be sort of a problem. Chile is hosting, they're on CLT (it's winter down there) which is UTC -3, which is the same as Atlantic Daylight Time.

So, yeah, even more simultaneous games! But with only 12 teams in the tournament and three groups, there's at most two games a day. Start times are 16:00, 18:00 or 20:30, which works out to 14:00, 16:00 or 18:30 CDT, so we're going have conflicts, and with FIFA running simultaneous games already, we may see three games running at once, alas.

When in doubt, record.
posted by eriko at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2015

Very very excited! All sorts of teams I love: US, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia. Some of the small Central American countries are fun to watch, too. CONCACAF Thunder!
posted by persona au gratin at 2:11 PM on June 10, 2015

And Chile! Love Chile!
posted by persona au gratin at 2:12 PM on June 10, 2015

(I really feel like there should be at least one "A" in the title.)
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:39 PM on June 10, 2015

posted by fiercecupcake at 2:50 PM on June 10, 2015

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