People love dark horses and underdogs. Maybe not so much when they bet on soccer, but then you never know. The Copa America will not be lacking its share of such competitors, Ecuador being one of them. Following the tournament that took place the year before this one, they have won five games, including defeating giants of the region like Argentina and Uruguay. This display of ball footing has landed them in the second place of their World Cup Qualifying group. Felipe Caicedo who formerly plied his trade at Manchester United has scored more goals than anyone else in the qualifying, and goes on the warpath accompanied by Antonio Valencia, Jefferson Montero, and Enner Valencia.
A Neymarless Brazil might improve Ecuador coach Gustavo Quinteros’s team’s soccer betting chances, and their confidence is at an all time high that they will be able to win and put on a spectacle while they’re at it. In spite last year’s successes, the tricolor team have not been blessed by Nike (the Greek goddess of victory, not the sneaker-maker) in this the year 2016. A tie with Paraguay and a defeat to Colombia was all they had to show for March’s World Cup Qualifiers, and they suffered another setback in a pre-Copa America friendly match to the USA.
Speaking of which, the USA has improved by leaps and bounds under former German star Jurgen Klinsmann – ah, that good old fashioned German discipline. The USMNT – not to be confused with the TMNT – has conceded defeat only once this year, and they defeated both Holland and Germany back-to-back in the past solstice, and having qualified to the knockout rounds of the World Cup in their last two showings, they have so much pedigree they could easily win Best in Show. The American talent has talent coming out the ying-yang, with Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, DeAndre Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Timothy Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood all cutting their teeth in Europe and improving the team’s soccer betting odds.
Their quest to qualify to the 2018 World Cup in Russia has not gone as smoothly as people who bet on soccer might expect, though, losing to Guatemala and almost missing the final rounds. They are second in their group trailing Trinidad and Tobago with two spans of 90 minutes divided each in 45 minute periods remaining on the calendar. The US drew a difficult but not out of the reach of human potential group in this summer’s Copa, where they have a date to dance with Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay.
And speaking of Costa Rica, this team came out of nowhere to shock people who bet on soccer in the 2014 World Cup. The goalkeeper, the Tall Guy, the Captain, the Kid, and others are all in the squad for this Copa America, and they are the Little Engine That Could. Their group is not a walk in the park and they will have to do the old razzle dazzle to maneuver past Colombia, Paraguay and the aforementioned United States to boldly go where they have not gone before. They’re definitely on the right track. They haven’t lost a single, solitary competitive outing since the Gold Cup and outscored both Uruguay and the US in the past 360 days.