The sorting of the groups of the 2016 Copa America tournament took place this past Sunday and left a very positive note for the Mexican side.
Group C: Mexico, Uruguay, Jamaica, Venezuela— Mexican Soccer Show (@MexSoccerShow) February 22, 2016
Despite the tournament being held in the United States, past games have proven that much of the fan base in the US roots for Mexico, raising the expectations for El Tri to a higher level.
The toughest opponents for Mexico will clearly be Uruguay and Jamaica. Uruguay will come into the tournament with great players such as Luis Suarez (who is currently dominating La Liga at Barcelona with 25 goals) on its roster. Uruguay reached the quarterfinals in the Copa America last year and is the team with the most Copa America championship wins under its belt. The last big tournament for these two to face each other was back in 2010, when Luis Suarez gave the Uruguayans the 1-0 victory. Mexico will have to bring its powerhouse European players with great confidence into this match particularly. They will have to be quick on their feet to any sudden style changes or playing tactics Uruguay will have under their sleeve. It is the only way they will win on June 5th.
Jamaica has also proven to be a worthy adversary since their amazing performance in the Gold Cup this past summer. The team dominated the Gold Cup, with only one loss the whole tournament and eight goals in favor. Their strength against the US in that 2-1 victory proved they should be considered as one of the powerhouses in CONCACAF. But despite the impressive playing, Mexico still overcame that and ended up beating them in a surprise upset at the Gold Cup final 3-1. Mexico will need to find that strength to prove skeptics wrong again during their match against Jamaica on June 9th and show it wasn’t a fluke.
In terms of Venezuela, the only real challenge Mexico faces when it comes to matches like this is their own sense of confidence and style of playing. Mexico has always had a problem with playing at the level of their opponent; when it comes to weaker teams, the weaker, clumsier side of El Tri comes out. Mexico must find that balance of strength and dominance against Venezuela and the two matches before facing them will surely determine that.
All in all, the sorting came out in Mexico’s favor. With a home field advantage and all eyes on them, Mexico should more likely than not advance out of their group.