I don't know if any other sport engages our feeling of national pride like soccer.
I know that USA basketball is a source of pride for the United States. But that's different. That's our sport. We are supposed to dominate international basketball and we do. And decades of unencumbered success have created a sense of inevitability with basketball.
But soccer brings out a nationalistic fervor like nothing else I can think of in sports. Perhaps it is the rare opportunity for the U.S. to embrace the role of underdog that defined our first nearly 200 years of existence as a nation. Maybe it's the fact that we are constantly getting screwed over in big international tournaments. And maybe it is the fact that the United States men's national soccer team is such a melting pot of players, ethnicities and backgrounds that it is easy for people from all corners of our country to relate.
Well, fans of soccer and fans of the United States alike will have a chance to rally behind the red, white and blue for a couple weeks this summer in the Copa America soccer tournament, which takes place on our native soil this summer from June 3 to June 26.
The United State squares off with Columbia at 9:30 p.m. tonight at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. That match marks the beginning of a three-week free-for-all featuring the best soccer teams in North and South America.
For those that don't follow international soccer, this tournament has a 16-team field and is set up in a similar fashion to the World Cup. The teams are divided into groups of four, within which they play a round robin. The top two teams at the end of group play advance to an eight-team tournament - the Knockout Stage - where the winner takes all.
Powerhouses Argentina (+200) and Brazil (+500) are the favorites to win the 2016 Copa America. The United States is the No. 3 favorite at +650, but that is more due to the fact that books know they will take heavier betting action from jingoistic Americans than it is a statement about our world standing.
Mexico (+800) and Chile (+800) round out the Top 5.
Nine different cities across the country will host Copa America games this summer, including Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Houston. The championship match will take place on June 25 in Glendale, AZ.
Several Doc's Sports handicappers - Doc's Sports,Robert Ferringo, Raphael Esparza, Indian Cowboy and Alan Harris - will be releasing selections on these matches all summer long. Release times for picks are at 11:30 a.m. EST on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with selections for multiple days available with each release.
Here is a complete 2016 Copa America schedule with dates and times, with the United States matches highlighted (all times EST):
USA v. Colombia - 9:30 p.m.
Costa Rica v. Paraguay - 5:00 p.m.
Haiti v. Peru - 7:30 p.m.
Brazil v. Ecuador - 10:00 p.m.
Jamaica v. Venezuela - 5:00 p.m.
Mexico v. Uruguay - 8:00 p.m.
Panama v. Bolivia - 7:00 p.m.
Argentina v. Chile - 10:00 p.m.
USA vs. Costa Rica - 8:00 p.m.
Colombia vs. Paraguay - 10:30 p.m.
Brazil vs. Haiti - 7:30 p.m.
Ecuador vs. Peru - 10:00 p.m.
Uruguay vs. Venezuela - 7:30 p.m.
Mexico vs. Jamaica - 10:00 p.m.
Chile vs. Bolivia - 7:00 p.m.
Argentina vs. Panama - 9:30 p.m.
USA v. Paraguay - 7:00 p.m.
Colombia vs. Costa Rica - 9:00 p.m.
Ecuador vs. Haiti - 6:30 p.m.
Brazil vs. Peru - 8:30 p.m.
Mexico vs. Venezuela - 8:00 p.m.
Uruguay vs. Jamaica - 10:00 p.m.
Chile vs. Panama - 8:00 p.m.
Argentina vs. Bolivia - 10:00 p.m.
June 16 - Copa America 1A vs. 2B
June 17 - Copa America 1B vs. 2A
June 18 - Copa America 1D vs. 2C
Copa America 1C vs. 2D
June 21 - Copa America W25 vs. W27
June 22 - Copa America W26 vs. W28
June 25 - Copa America L29 vs. L30
June 26 - Copa America final
Robert Ferringo is one of the top soccer handicappers in the country and will have selections this summer for both the Copa America Tournament as well as the Euro 2016 Championship. Robert turned a profit in both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, totaling more than $4,000 in winnings for his clients in those tournaments.
Read more articles by Robert Ferringo
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