WTF is Copa America Centenario and Why Should I Know About It

Unfortunately ladies (and some men) the Copa isn’t a David Beckham wet dream…although metaphorically for some of us soccer heads it is.  No need to panic though;  I’m here...

Unfortunately ladies (and some men) the Copa isn’t a David Beckham wet dream…although metaphorically for some of us soccer heads it is.  No need to panic though;  I’m here to (briefly) explain why Timmy’s Facebook profile pic just got adjusted with “Copa America Centenario USA” at the bottom and why you should too on the heels of another patriotic MDW. Especially before Domald Trump doesn’t let us go south of that wall he’s going to build to play the beautiful game.

The Copa America is a a tournament that takes place every few years to crown the best national team in South America.  Think the World Cup but just for South American teams (for the non-geographically inclined that’s Brazil, Argentina, etc).  However, this being the 100th anniversary of the tournament, the directors of CONMEBOL (South American’s “conference”) decided to open up the playing field from 10 teams to 16 teams and  include some from North America including the big, bad Estados Unidos.  In fact, they were SO NICE that they even let us host the damn tournament.  I’m sure money was not a factor at all.

So, starting today we get a full three weeks of football (read: soccer) action with the best teams in South America and North America squaring off against each other in a round robin tournament for supremacy in the Western Hemisphere.  At this point, I’m all sure you are wondering if the US has a chance in this tournament.  Glad you asked…

First, let’s start with the schedule which was clearly put together to juice ratings here in America. Games on Friday, Tuesday and Saturday night ensure most of us will be boozed up enough to yell at our TV screens in fake British accents and pretend that we care about soccer.  Unfortunately, being put into the “Group of Death” makes for a tough time getting out of our group and into the knockout stage.

Friday (6/3)- 9:30 EST: USA vs Colombia

On paper, this is going to be the toughest game for the Red, White, and Blue.  Colombia comes in ranked 4th in the world rankings while we sit at a measly 29th.  Colombia sports one of the best players in the world, James Rodrigues, who is going to be a nightmare for the suspect US defense to contain. Squeaking out an enthralling 0-0 or 1-1 draw will be considered a great success. Prediction: Colombia 2 – USA 0

Tuesday (6/7)- 8:00 EST: USA vs Costa Rica

Costa Rica, known as The Ticos, are actually ranked ahead of the US and are not be taken lightly as evidenced by their quarterfinal appearance in the last World Cup.  They have star players all over the field including Joel Campbell, who plays across the pond in England for one of Europe’s top teams, Arsenal.  Luckily for us, their all world goalkeeper Keylor Navas who plays for Real Madrid is out with an injury for the entire tourney.  If the US wants to advance out of the group, we need a big result here and I think we get it.  Prediction: USA 2- Costa Rica 1

Saturday (6/11)- 7:00 EST: USA vs Paraguay

This game starts just as I set sail on my birthday party barge for the big 3-0 but you can bet your sweet ass I will find a way to stream this while rocking my USA jersey.  In the only match that we will be favored, a win can be the only result to propel us forward.  Since I don’t know anything about Paraguay, I’ll take this time to talk about the US and the state of our team under Jurgen Klinsmann (yes, we have a pure-bred German coach).  Klinsy picked a roster mixed of veterans and kiddos for an interesting dichotomy of experience and youth for the biggest non World Cup event the US has ever played in.  The biggest prospect the US has on the horizon is 17 year old Christian Pulisic who plays his ball over in Germany and his being hailed as our lord and holy savior.  I expect him to get some playing time in this game…and yes I am predicting a GOOOOOOOOOAALLLLLLLL in this game for the youngster as he starts his march to lead the US for the next 15 years.




The Office Sports Guy
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