The18’s Copa América power rankings — Final edition

It’s finally Copa América week, which means it’s time for The18’s latest and final power rankings.

As the highly anticipated Copa América 2024 approaches, soccer fans are eager to see which national teams will dominate the now bi-continental South American tournament this summer.

From CONMEBOL powerhouses like Brazil and Argentina, rising contenders such as Colombia and Uruguay and the highly-anticipated performances and return of Concacaf giants Mexico and USMNT, the question of who will take the tournament home is up for grabs.

These rankings are based on recent performances and how we feel each team will perform in the tournament. After each person listed their top 16 teams, we aggregated the results into one official power rankings list.

Here’s our final list for the 16 teams… let the countdown for the Copa begin!

2024 Copa América power rankings — Final edition

16. Bolivia

Bolivia’s biggest strength is their absurd home field advantage in La Paz at nearly 12,000 feet. That won’t help them in Copa América as they are the biggest underdogs of the tournament. On their roster of 26 a total of 20 play in the Bolivian Primera División.

15. Costa Rica

The Ticos’ chances of impressing are as low as ever. Costa Rica have not had a ‘competitive’ match since their March friendly and 3-1 loss against Argentina, playing against Uruguay (made up of local league players only) and playing their mandatory preliminary World Cup qualification against St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada. They will face (and struggle) against Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay.

14. Peru

Peru have been atrocious in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying sitting bottom of the table without a single win in their first six games. They haven’t recorded any remarkable friendly results ahead of the tournament with a goalless draw vs. Paraguay and a 1-0 victory vs. El Salvador. The odds are stacked against Peru with a tough group (Argentina, Chile and Canada).

13. Jamaica

Jamaica have a major problem with their federation. When the nation’s biggest star (Leon Bailey) is boycotting the team over poor conditions and treatment you’re not left with much inspiration. Bailey was included in Jamaica's roster but the Aston Villa midfielder turned down the call up. The 'Reggae Boyz' still scared the hell out of the USMNT in the Nations League, so not all hope is lost just yet. 

12. Panama

Los Cannaleros have a scoring conundrum. They had more possession and outshot Mexico and Jamaica in March’s Nations League but failed to find the back of the net in either game. In a tune-up friendly vs. Paraguay on June 16 they again failed to find the back of the net in a 1-0 defeat. 

Panama were also dealt a big injury blow with as captain Anibal Godoy suffered a thigh injury during the friendly vs. Paraguay and will miss Copa América.

11. Paraguay

There’s nothing too exciting about the Albiroja. Unless they can produce a shock result in their group (Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica) they look destined for a third or fourth-place finish. Brighton’s Julio Enciso and Newcastle’s Miguel Almirón could be the only light in a rather lackluster squad.

10. Canada

Canada seem to have found their man with new American head coach Jesse Marsch. The new coaching era began with a rough 4-0 defeat to Netherlands but was followed up with a respectable 0-0 draw against France. With stars like Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and Tajon Buchanan this team could be a dark horse. They get the honor of playing Lionel Messi and Argentina in the opener.

9. Mexico

Mexico are not doing well, to say the least. After a disastrous 2022 World Cup and the constant losses against the USMNT in tournament finals, the squad managed by Jaime Lozano have yet to find the consistency and roster depth needed to hope for a deep run in the Copa América. El Tri will need to define a starting XI, as well as a concrete playing style, to deliver an impressive finish.

8. Chile

Win, lose, draw. Repeat. Chile perhaps one of the most inconsistent national teams in the tournament, but also one of the teams with the most potential. Their last three international friendlies have seen La Roja defeat Albania and Paraguay 3-0, falling only to France in a very competitive 3-2 loss.

7. Venezuela

Venezuela enter the tournament with a bit of mystery as they haven’t played a game in three months. What can’t be denied is how well they’ve performed in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying losing just one of six games.

6. Ecuador

La Tri has a very promising generation. Ecuador are currently fifth (out of six qualification spots) in their World Cup qualifiers and ahead of powerhouse Brazil, coming into the Copa América as a very possible dark horse. Their pre-tournament friendlies saw victories against Bolivia and Honduras along with a tight 1-0 defeat to Argentina.

5. USA

The USMNT’s success will all depend on which team wants to show up. Fans saw the best and worst of Gregg Berhalter’s team with the embarrassing 5-1 loss to Colombia but then a remarkable 1-1 draw with Brazil. The USMNT are expected to get out of their group (Uruguay, Panama and Bolivia) with the semifinal looking like the ceiling.

4. Brazil

Brazil are, for once, not in the contender podium for the Copa América. The verde e amarela are not in the hottest form at the moment, losing their last three competitive matches in CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifiers and struggling in their most recent friendly matches against Mexico and the United States. They are going to need Real Madrid star boys Vinicius Jr, Rodrigo and Endrick to lead them to glory.

3. Uruguay

Uruguay gave the rest of the field a warning shot with a clinical 4-0 friendly victory vs. Mexico on June 5. This team is loaded with star power like Darwin Núñez, Luis Suárez, Federico Valverde and Rondal Araújo. Uruguay will be eyeing their first trip to the final since 2011.

2. Colombia

The Cafetaleros are on a rampage coming into the Copa América, being undefeated in their last 23 matches. They closed out their preparations for the tournament with an impressive 5-1 victory over the USMNT, followed by a 3-0 win against Bolivia.

1. Argentina

The big question of Copa América will be if anyone can beat Argentina? One big point worth mentioning is how the bracket is set up. Argentina have the easiest path to the final with the next four best teams on our rankings (Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil and USA) all being on the other side of the bracket.

Lionel Messi and company have a cakewalk to the final that they surely can’t mess up. 

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