July 17th, 2024

Copa America: How to watch, schedule, betting favorites and more

By The Associated Press on June 12, 2024.

The biggest soccer tournament in the Americas is about to land stateside.

The 48th edition of the Copa America will showcase the top talents from two continents in 14 venues across the U.S. for nearly a month of competition. Ten CONMEBOL teams from South America and six CONCACAF teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean will match up in an event most recently won in 2021 by Argentina and Lionel Messi, who is back for another run.

The U.S. and its vast selection of world-class stadiums will host the Copa America for the second time after hosting the Centenario edition of the event in 2016. Argentina also reached that final in suburban New Jersey, but lost to Alexis Sánchez and Chile on penalties.

Before the first ball is kicked, here is how, where, and what to watch during the American soccer summer:

WHAT IS THE COPA AMERICA SCHEDULE?

The opening match is June 20 in Atlanta, where Argentina will take on Canada. The 16 teams will play in the group stage until July 2, with two matches almost every day. The quarterfinals are July 4-6 in Houston; Arlington, Texas; Las Vegas; and Glendale, Arizona. The semifinals are July 10 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Charlotte, North Carolina, while the final is July 14 in sweltering Miami Gardens.

HOW DO I WATCH COPA AMERICA?

Fox Sports will spread its English-language coverage across four networks: FOX, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and Fubo. The opening match and most of the knockout-round matches will be on FS1, while the final will be on FOX. All 32 matches also will be on TUDN, Univision or UniMás with Spanish-language coverage.

WHO ARE THE BETTING FAVORITES FOR COPA AMERICA?

Argentina is the favorite to repeat at +175, according to BetMGM Sportsbook. Brazil is right behind at +225, while Uruguay is the third choice at +500. The oddsmakers don’t rate the rest of the field highly, with Mexico and U.S. in fourth at an identical +1200 along with sleeper pick Colombia, which had played 22 consecutive unbeaten matches since February 2022 heading into its final warmup exhibition this month.

TOP STORIES

Messi will attempt to add another major trophy to his overflowing mantel, and his Argentine squad is loaded with talent from major European clubs, including Inter’s Lautaro Martinez and Manchester City’s Julián Álvarez. But La Albiceleste should be sternly challenged by opponents with their own world-class stars.

Fresh off a Champions League triumph with Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo will lead a loaded Brazilian squad. Messi’s Inter Miami teammate, 37-year-old Luis Suárez, is back with Uruguay to play alongside Real’s Federico Valverde and Liverpool’s Darwin Núñez.

One star won’t be shining stateside: Brazilian great Neymar, who hasn’t played since October due to a knee injury.

CONMEBOL HEGEMONY

On paper, this doesn’t appear to be the year when a CONCACAF team will break through to win the Copa America for the first time. That won’t stop Mexico, the U.S., Canada, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama from attempting to make history.

Mexico has a solid group, but nothing in the top level of talent possessed by the South American powerhouses. Ditto for the Americans, who hope for a hometown boost and a breakout tournament from a forward group including Milan’s Christian Pulisic, Norwich’s Josh Sargent and Monaco’s Folarin Balogun.

North American teams weren’t invited to participate in Copa America until the 1990s, and Mexico’s second-place finishes are the closest any non-South American team has come to winning.

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AP Copa America coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/copa-america

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