Following the Copa America Centenario Draw last night, get to know the teams the U.S. MNT will compete against in Group A this summer.
Match #1: USA vs. Colombia
Date: June 3, 2016
Location: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
The U.S. and Colombia will raise the curtain on the 2016 Copa America on Friday, June 3 at Levi’s Stadium. Possessing the likes of Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez and Chelsea’s Radamel Falcao, los Cafeteros will have no shortage of attacking power and should provide the U.S. back line with a stiff test.
The two teams have some past in tournament matches, with the most memorable being the MNT’s 2-1 victory at the 1994 FIFA World Cup at The Rose Bowl, a few hundred miles south from the venue for this match. The two sides are also well acquainted in the Copa America, with Colombia defeating the U.S. 4-1 in the Third Place Match in 1995 and 1-0 in the final group match in 2007.
While Colombia holds an 11-3-4 all-time series lead, all three of the U.S. wins have come in the state of California.
Match #2: USA vs. Costa Rica
Date: June 7, 2016
Location: Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill.
The U.S. will face the strongest unseeded CONCACAF nation in the tournament at Soldier Field in Chicago, the home base for the U.S. Soccer Federation and the site of the MNT’s 2007 and 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup triumphs. One of only two CONCACAF nations to hold an all-time winning record against the U.S. (14-13-6), los Ticos will also pack a powerful punch up top with the likes of Arsenal’s Joel Campbell and Sporting Lisbon’s Bryan Ruiz and are backstopped by Real Madrid ‘keeper Keylor Navas.
Though Costa Rica holds the all-time series edge, the U.S. has a superior advantage in tournament games, going 6-0-1 all-time vs. Costa Rica in the Gold Cup, including a 2-0 win in the 2002 final.
Match #3: USA vs. Paraguay
Date: June 11, 2016
Location: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa.
Compared to the MNT’s first two opponents, the U.S. and Paraguay have much less history. Though the sides first met during the 1930 FIFA World Cup (a 3-0 U.S. win), they’ve only played each other six times, sharing an even 2-2-2 record. Featuring more balance in the team, Paraguay are paced up top by Seattle Sounders striker Nelson Valdez and up-and-coming Dynamo Kiev star Derlis Gonzalez, while 36-year-old Toluca defender Paulo da Silva continues to captain the side.
Aside from the meeting in 1930, the two sides also faced off in the 2007 Copa America group stage where Paraguay dispatched the U.S. 3-1 in Barinas, Venezuela.