The United States and Colombia kick off Copa America Centenario at Levi’s Stadium tonight. Even with the recent news that Simon Dawkins will no longer compete for Jamaica after suffering a strained groin, the Earthquakes will still have three representatives at the prestigious tournament.
Forward Chris Wondolowski – United States
USA vs. Colombia – Levi’s Stadium
Friday, June 3 – 6:30 p.m. PT
FOX Sports 1
The U.S. National Team has been handed a tall task to kick things off. With millions watching around the world, the red, white and blue face Group A- favorite Colombia, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the FIFA World Ranking. However, the American Outlaws should be out in full force to support the home side on U.S. soil and the home-field advantage could make a huge difference.
While the Americans will surely be gunning for all three points, a draw may not be the worst result. Most pundits predict the United States and Costa Rica will duke it out for second place (although don’t overlook Paraguay just yet), so a point against the heavy favorites could prove enormous at the end of the group stage.
Colombia features several household names, including AC Milan forward Carlos Bacca, Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez, Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado and Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.
Midfielders Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero – Panama
Panama vs. Bolivia – Camping World Stadium
Monday, June 6 – 4:00 p.m. PT
FOX Sports 1
The FIFA World Ranking was not kind to Panama, who enters Copa America as the 56th ranked team in the world behind nations such as Albania, Cape Verde Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea. Don’t be fooled though, Panama is a fiery bunch with the talent to compete.
Regardless, Panama are heavy, heavy underdogs to advance past the group stage, with Argentina and Chile, two of the top five teams in the world, standing in their way.
Panama do have one thing going for them, as they open the tournament against Bolivia, while Argentina and Chile face off the same day. Best-case scenario for Panama is that they take all three points and the two powerhouses finish in a stalemate.
Bolivia do not have a host of recognizable names, at least on a global stage, but are led by forward Juan Carlos Arce. The 31-year-old forward has played in Brazil, Russia, South Korea and Bolivia, among others, and has a nose for goal.