Copa America : Notes – ¡A llorar al valle!

The first big upset of the tournament – and one of the best heads up plays of the tournament.  A look at today’s games, and where things stand after last night. A packed day.


  1. As upsets go, yesterday was quite significant. The difference in power ratings between the two teams was 173 points! Let’s take a look at upsets 173 points and larger – they happen, but as you see from the graph they happen more often in friendlies and secondary tournaments (marked with a square), not in major tournaments (marked with an x)


Point difference between teams on y-axis, ordered chronologically left to right:

Soccer Upsets
Data provided by Opta

Upsets have gotten more frequent in the last 10 years – as the rest of the world has caught up with the traditional soccer powerhouses, there are very few throwaway games


  1. So what happened yesterday? Three keys:


  1. Our models took in to account that Suarez wasn’t playing – but the impact on them has been even greater than we factored. If you had $10 on Venezuela you’d be the proud owner of $60 today
  2. Take a look at the still below – the goalkeeper is at the edge of the box, far off his line and Alejandro Guerra made him pay. He lobs the ball over the keepers head – the ball hits the crossbar and drops back for a chip in. That goal was Guerra’s – Rondon just delivered the coup de grace. GIF attached.

Alejandro Guerra

  1. Uruguay couldn’t finish – they created plenty of chances. But Cavani couldn’t convert. Which brings us back to Suarez – without him, this team is lost. When he plays, Cavani and others around him also play better. He’s 29, and while he has a few more good years ahead of him, Uruguay have some soul searching to do on the flight home.
Uruguay Offense Cavani
Data provided by Opta


  1. More upsets on the way? The odds are even longer than they were for Venezuela. Argentina have Messi back – and were able to handle Chile even without him. Bolivia are at the bottom of the power rankings table – today could be a normal day.
Team - Chile v Bolivia
Data provided by Opta
Team - Argentina v Panama
Data provided by Opta



  1. So where does that leave all the teams. The updated power rankings are below:
Copa America Centenario Power Rankings
Data provided by Opta

Mexico hold their position at #3, with CONMEBOL owning the top half of the table, with the US on the verge at #9.  

The top 4 teams are all in different groups, so we could still see #1-#4 in the semis – but there’s a lot of soccer still left to play.