The Copa Centenario has been billed as a showcase for what a World Cup could be like in the United States, but a big issue is the summer heat. While much has been made of what it will be like in 2022
when Qatar hosts the World Cup, teams felt the extreme heat on the first weekend of the tournament.
Levi's Stadium was sweltering as a heat wave took temperatures well above 90 degrees
for the start of USA-Colombia. Fortunately, there was little humidity, and temperatures dropped as the sun began to set after the 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
Temperatures hit 115 degrees on Sunday
outside University of Phoenix Stadium, which fortunately had air conditioning for Mexico-Uruguay. (The heat wave so bad Phoenix authorities advised residents to stay indoors.)
took the field for Paraguay-Costa Rica had it worst, though. Temperatures at humid Orlando's Camping World Stadium reached 93 at the 5:30 p.m. kickoff.
"It's crazy to play at the time we
played," Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz
said. "I would like to see a little more consideration and respect for the real protagonists, who are the players." GOALS, GOALS, NOT.
Saturday's three games produced just one goal, and the first six games at the Copa Centenario featured just eight goals, for an average of 1.3 goals a
game. The opening six games of the last three Copa American tournaments have produced just 25 goals, an average of 1.4 goals per game. By comparison, that's just one goal more than the 24 scored in
the opening six games in 2007 when the USA last participated in the tournament. (It opened with a 4-1 loss to Argentina, falling after Eddie Johnson
gave it the lead in the 9th minute.)
The first six games at the Copa Centenario averaged 40,118 fans a game, above the stated target of Copa Centenario organizers
of an average of 35,000 fans a game.
The USA-Colombia opener drew an announced crowd of 67,439, though there were sections of Levi's Stadium with lots of empty seats.
Copa Centenario Crowds:
ATT. GAME (VENUE)
USA-Colombia (Santa Clara, Calif.) 60,025
Mexico-Uruguay (Glendale, Ariz.) 53,158
Brazil-Ecuador (Pasadena, Calif.) 25,560
Venezuela-Jamaica (Chicago) 20,190
Peru-Haiti (Seattle) 14,334
Costa Rica-Paraguay (Orlando) WASTON SEES RED, AGAIN.
The first ejection of the Copa Centenario went to a player who knows what it is
like to see red. Costa Rica's Kendall Waston
, who was sent off for a tackle from behind late in its 0-0 tie with Paraguay. Waston, who will miss the Ticos' game against the USA on Tuesday, has
two red cards and five yellow cards in 11 games for the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2016.
Other red cards went to Andre Guardado
(Mexico), Matias Vecino
(Uruguay) and Rodolph