Commentary

Copa Centenario: Soccer America editors' predictions

The Copa Centenario kicks off Friday when the USA hosts Colombia at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The tournament should give the USA a home-field advantage in the biggest men's tournament played in the USA since the 1994 World Cup. Here's how Soccer America's editors see the tournament unfolding.

Paul Kennedy:

The USA's draw was not kind, but it has a lot going for it, beginning with home-field advantage and a favorable schedule drawn up for the host nation. It also has a motivated squad of players eager to make a statement at home. Many of the major South American powers come limping into the tournament, which complicates the task of projecting their form. If Lionel Messi can stay healthy, he should accomplish what he's never done before, and that's lead Argentina to a title at the senior national team level.

USA Results:
USA 2 Colombia 2
USA 2 Costa Rica 0
USA 2 Paraguay 1

Group Stage:
Group A
1. USA 2. Colombia 3. Costa Rica 4. Paraguay
Group B
1. Ecuador 2. Brazil 3. Peru 4. Haiti
Group C
1. Mexico 2. Uruguay 3. Jamaica 4. Venezuela
Group D
1. Argentina 2. Chile 3. Panama 4. Bolivia

Knockout Stage:
Quarterfinals
USA over Brazil
Colombia over Ecuador
Mexico over Chile
Argentina over Uruguay
Semifinals
Argentina over USA
Colombia over Mexico
Third-Place Game
USA over Mexico
Final
Argentina over Colombia

Ridge Mahoney:

A new-look U.S. team gets off to shaky start but manages to get through the first round as its younger players get the feel of real international competition. A settled back line gains in confidence as the tournament unfolds and the level of competition aids head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s process of grooming players who can play prominent roles in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The squad emerges deeper and better suited to take on the world’s top teams, though a few question marks will remain due to the advanced ages of several key players.

USA Results:
USA 1 Colombia 2
USA 1 Costa Rica 1
USA 1 Paraguay 0

Group Stage:
Group A
1. Colombia 2. USA 3. Costa Rica 4. Paraguay
Group B
1. Brazil 2. Ecuador 3. Haiti 4. Peru
Group C
1. Uruguay 2. Mexico 3. Jamaica  4. Venezuela
Group D
1. Chile 2. Argentina 3. Panama 4. Bolivia

Knockout Stage:
Quarterfinals
Colombia over Ecuador
Brazil over USA
Argentina over Uruguay
Mexico over Chile
Semifinals
Mexico over Brazil
Argentina over Colombia
Third-Place Game
Colombia over Brazil
Final
Argentina over Mexico

Mike Woitalla:

The USA’s worst runs during the Jurgen Klinsmann era have always been marked by a rebound, and following the failures of 2015, the stage is set for success. The USA has the home-field edge, a good blend of veterans and youngsters and an advantage thanks to MLS. That the USA’s league has a different schedule than the rest of the world means that the 12 MLS players on Klinsmann’s roster are in midseason form -- not entering a major tournament shortly after an arduous 10-month club season.

USA Results:
USA 2 Colombia 1
USA 1 Costa Rica 0
USA 0 Paraguay 0

Group Stage:
Group A
1. USA 2. Colombia 3. Paraguay 4. Costa Rica
Group B
1. Brazil 2. Ecuador 3. Peru 4. Haiti
Group C
1. Mexico 2. Uruguay 3. Jamaica 4. Venezuela
Group D
1. Argentina 2. Chile 3. Panama 4. Bolivia

Knockout Stage:
Quarterfinals
USA over Ecuador
Brazil over Colombia
Mexico over Chile
Argentina over Uruguay
Semifinals
Mexico over Brazil
Argentina over USA
Third-Place Game
USA over Brazil
Final
Mexico over Argentina

3 comments about "Copa Centenario: Soccer America editors' predictions".
  1. beautiful game, June 2, 2016 at 9:17 p.m.

    Mr. Kennedy is a dreamer...as for Argentina, Tata Martinez will never lead them to a major triumph. I would not underestimate the Mexico squad

  2. Bob Ashpole, June 3, 2016 at 3:58 a.m.

    I agree about Mexico being a tough opponent. They will likely have the crowds behind them.

  3. Bob Ashpole, June 12, 2016 at 8:22 a.m.

    Turns out that the predictions were more accurate than I thought. Turns out that every team came to win making for some very exciting and entertaining matches.

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