Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Copa Field is Surprisingly Strong
BBC Sport, June 26th, 2007 4:30PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Tim Vickory of BBC Sport with another Copa America preview, noting that this year's championship boasts "the strongest lineup that the Copa America has had for some time." Notwithstanding the absence of Brazil's Ronaldinho and Kaka, just about every other South American player has made himself available for selection, in stark contrast to the 2004 Copa America, which several of the continent's biggest stars opted to sit out.

So why is this year's field so strong? Timing is everything, Vickery says. The main event in South America is World Cup qualifying, in which the region's 10 biggest teams play 18 games over the course of two and a half years. The marathon format, introduced 11 years ago now, places a massive importance on each match; for regional powerhouses like Argentina and Brazil, everything else takes a back seat. But this year, because World Cup qualifying has yet to start, countries are sending their strongest teams.

For the weaker nations, Vickery says, "expanding the World Cup qualifiers" has allowed them "to keep a side together and grow in confidence and tactical awareness." He attributes the recent rise of Ecuador and Venezuela to this phenomenon, which has conversely devalued the Copa America for stronger nations like Argentina and Brazil, which use it as an experiment for fringe players. Meanwhile, the Ecuadors and Venezuelas of the region have become stronger and more united thanks to playing more matches. Another reason this year's field is so strong, Vickery says, is that nine of the 12 teams competing have new coaches.

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Reports: Bale to Miss Crucial Week for Real     
According to reports on Monday, Gareth Bale will miss a crucial week for Real Madrid after ...
Injured Lampard to Miss City's Trip to CSKA    
Frank Lampard was carried off on a stretcher as Manchester City beat Tottenham 4-1 at the ...
Report: Shakhtar Stadium Damaged in Ukraine War    
Shakhtar Donetsk's Donbass Arena suffered serious damage from gunfire on Monday despite the recent ceasefire agreed ...
Mourinho Swipes at National Team Coaches    
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho took a swipe at Spain coach Vicente del Bosque on Monday, by ...
Bundesliga: Heaven for Bayern, Hell for BVB    
Pep Guardiola once again lavished high praise on Philipp Lahm after the Bayern Munich veteran put ...
Enrique Dismisses Messi Substitution Row     
Did Lionel Messi refuse to be taken off during Barcelona's 3-0 win against Eibar? No matter ...
Hart: Aguero "Useless" in Practice Sessions    
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City's four-goal hero against Tottenham on Saturday, is apparently "useless" at times during ...
Arena: 'We Need to Start Focusing on Playing'    
Bruce Arena suggested that Landon Donovan's long MLS goodbye has become a distraction following the Los ...
Platini: Blatter No Longer Serves Soccer    
UEFA President Michel Platini on Friday launched perhaps his most scathing criticism of FIFA President Sepp ...
Gundogan Back for BVB; Reus, Mkhitaryan Close    
Ilkay Gundogan is set to put 14 months of injury misery behind him on Saturday when ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives