Copa America 2024: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Deemed a success by CONMEBOL, Copa America 2024 has provided the best, worst, and ugliest sides of soccer in the Americas throughout the tournament. 

The 2024 Copa America has been a mixed bag of expectations. On one hand, the stadiums have radiated the vibrant colors and fervor of South American supporters, along with the energy of crowds from across the Americas.

On the other hand, there has been some cautious soccer play, with the flair and flash that many anticipated being subdued by pragmatic teams finding their footing. Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia have emerged as favorites in the tournament ahead of today’s semifinal showdowns.

Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Copa America so far.

The Good


Under Marcelo Bielsa, Uruguay has been electrifying. La Celeste is playing a style of soccer long yearned for by the football-obsessed nation. Bielsa has managed to adapt Uruguay’s tough defensive history to his aggressive style of play, known as “Bielsa Ball.” The side has won every match it has played in so far, the only nation in addition to Argentina to have done so. A mighty Colombia is the only thing in the way of their first Copa America final since 2011, when they won it all.


Speaking of Colombia, the nation brought a 25-game unbeaten streak into the Copa America, which is still going strong. James Rodríguez has turned back the clock and has been the tournament’s MVP, and Colombia has become a team to watch leading up to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The Bad

United States

After entering the tournament with high hopes, the United States men’s national team had a dismal showing as the Copa America progressed. A promising 2-0 win over Bolivia only made way for consecutive defeats to Panama and a significantly superior Uruguay. For the U.S., it seems it’s back to the drawing board, as the much-touted golden generation has failed to justify its hype.


Mexico joins the United States as a disappointing CONCACAF side that failed to make it out of a favorable group draw. El Tri is in disarray, lacking clear direction and grappling with player personnel issues. With Liga MX owners exerting constant influence over the national team, Mexico faces a significant rebuilding phase.


Brazil continues to be a collection of talented players without a clear purpose. The absence of Neymar has left a void in the attacking third, where creativity is sorely lacking. From 1990-2007, Brazil won six major titles. In the 17 years since, they have just one.

The Ugly


Under Jesse Marsch, Canada has achieved a minor miracle by surviving the group stage with just one goal scored in three matches. Throughout Marsch’s tenure, Canada has managed only three goals in six matches, underscoring significant offensive struggles. Yet still they made it all the way to the semifinals, which is more than any of their CONCACAF counterparts can say.


Also making a deep run in the tournament, Argentina’s brand of football has nonetheless been disappointing at the Copa America. The team has yet to meet expectations, especially with Lionel Messi frequently sidelined due to injury. Argentina and coach Lionel Scaloni must find a way to reduce their dependence on Messi, despite possessing ample firepower both in the starting lineup and on the bench.

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