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Introducing the Copa America Centenario and Why You Should Care About It

Many of you don’t care for soccer and that’s okay. I know plenty of people who hate excitement in sports, and America. But I’m here today to convince you to pay attention to the betting options for Copa America Centenario 2016 on, which begins tonight.


So, what is it, you ask?

It’s a big damn deal. That’s what it is. The Copa America Centenario is a celebration of 100 years of CONMEBOL (South America’s soccer confederation) and the Copa America (the South America championship).

This year’s Centenario is the first Copa America hosted outside South America, and it’s right here on our own turf, all over the United States.

CONMEBOL was kind enough to invite the CONCACAF (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) to participate in its special 100th birthday tournament, making a huge field of 16 teams: all 10 from CONMEBOL and six from CONCACAF.

I lost you with all of those acronyms, didn’t I? Here are the participating teams:

(South America)
(Special Invites/Qualifiers)
 Argentina  United States
 Bolivia  Mexico
 Brazil  Costa Rica
 Chile  Jamaica
 Colombia  Haiti
 Ecuador  Panama

Why should you care?

Because you’re an American. That’s why.

Also, it’s one of the biggest international tournaments in the history of the sport. Never mind the fact it was created for the sole purpose of making a bunch of money for South American soccer execs — some of whom have been arrested — it’s going to be awesome. Several of the best players in the world will participate.

And America. Did I mention that?

When does the U.S. play?

The USMNT kicks off the tourney tonight at 9:30 pm against Colombia, the biggest threat in the group stage. Costa Rica will be the second group opponent, on Tuesday, June 7; followed by the third and final game of the group stage, against Paraguay on Saturday, June 11.

USMNT’s Group A Schedule
 Colombia Friday, June 3 9:30 pm FS1
 Costa Rica Tuesday, June 7 8:00 pm FS1
 Paraguay Saturday, June 11 7:00 pm FS1

Should the U.S. advance to the knockout stage, it will face either the Group B (Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, Peru) runner-up on Thursday, June 16 or the Group B winner on Friday, June 17.

Where should you watch?

If you’re in Lexington, I recommend the Paddock. That’s where I’ll be. If the Paddock is a little too fast-paced for your taste, the American Outlaws meet at West Sixth Brewery.

Whatever you do, get out in public and get rowdy. Be your best patriot.

 Other things you should know ahead of kickoff:

— The USMNT’s goal is to reach the semifinals, which shows how tough the tournament will be. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said, “The goal is really to get to the final four. We want to get to the final four.”

That would be a win for America in this field.

— Jozy Altidore, one of the only U.S. players the common fan can name, will not play; but keep an eye on the new, young crop of Americans. The future is bright with guys like Christian Pulisic, Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes, John Brooks (of World Cup 2014 fame) and Darlington Nagbe.

— Colombia is ranked third in the world, some 28 spots ahead of the U.S. at No. 31. Tonight’s game will be a challenge.

— The best player in the world and World Cup runner-up are in the field with Lionel Messi and Argentina. He is/they are unreal.

— The Americans have been pretty bad lately. Hell, they didn’t even qualify for the Olympics. But with big wins over Ecuador and Bolivia last week, there’s some momentum and some excitement brewing entering the biggest tourney outside the World Cup.

Get excited! (Or move to Canada.)

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

11 Comments for Introducing the Copa America Centenario and Why You Should Care About It

  1. thelexcat
    4:18 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    Thank you for posting this Drew. Been looking forward to this tournament for the past few months. Soccer doesn’t as much respect in the US but there is a reason it’s the #1 sport in the world and I’m freakin hooked. This tournament will be a good gauge of how our national team looks going to the World Cup a couple years from now.

    • rickwhitetx
      4:41 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

      What is the reason it’s the number 1 sport in the world? I have my ideas, but I’d like to hear your opinion.

    • RobHD4
      12:29 am June 4, 2016 Permalink

      @rickwhitetx Because it is.

  2. Sentient Third Eye
    4:31 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    But Americans have vastly improved upon ‘football’ so as to make this anachronistic version obsolete. I would rather focus on the “better in every way” version of the game. Let the luddites have this one.

  3. LigginsLoveSAT
    5:20 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    I appreciate this post, Drew. The next two months are great for soccer enthusiasts with this tournament and the Euro’s. There are many opportunities to watch world class soccer players in the states beyond the Centenario. Liverpool, Chelsea, Crystal Palace (in Cincy), Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Inter, PSG, and the Champions of Europe, Real Madrid, are all training and playing in the USA this month and July.
    Go USA!

  4. rabblerabblerabble
    5:32 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    Good stuff, Drew.

    A quick note though – the US team that did not qualify for the Olympics is not the US Men’s National Team (which is playing in the Copa America). It was the U-23 team, which is completely different.

  5. 3 fan
    5:39 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    Soccer sucks. Boring to watch 0-0 ties. Hockey sucks but not as bad as soccer.

    That’s for bashing baseball all the time Drew!😉

  6. onsides
    5:56 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    I’m liking soccer more lately. It looks awesome in HD but it’s still like the Olympics to me because I’m just rooting for the Americans because their Americans. From what ESPN just reported, there’s going to be more Columbia fans than USA fans………in California!

  7. CB3UK
    5:57 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    Soccer is garbage. Moving on.

  8. BigBlueToo
    9:36 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    Currently airing on Fox Sports 1.

  9. dgtuk
    10:25 pm June 3, 2016 Permalink

    Drew: Nice try…Something tells me soccer will do fine without me…..I know I will do fine without it :).