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On Thursday, Argentina will kick off their title defense of Copa America facing Canada. The tournament will take place in the United States for the first time since 2016 as all 10 CONMEBOL teams will participate alongside six Concacaf sides who qualified via Concacaf Nations League play. Before the tournament begins, it's a good time to check in on how all 16 teams are trending:




You can't start at the top of Copa America rankings without beginning with Argentina who are doing a good job of balancing the current stars with bringing along younger players as well. With his next appearance, Lionel Messi will set the record for caps in this competition with 35 while also looking to lead his team to back -to-back Copa America titles.



Luis Suarez is back in the international picture for Uruguay as Marcelo Bielsa has the team rounding into form at the best time possible. Getting the best out of Darwin Núñez will be important but so will Facundo Pellistri's service and pressing from the wing. From back to front, this is a solid squad with depth to challenge anyone in the tournament. 



It almost feels like 2a and 2b between Uruguay and Colombia as Los Cafeteros come into this tournament unbeaten in 23 consecutive games. Taking out the United States, Spain, and Brazil during this run, Colombia can't be underestimated as a contender for the crown. 



This team isn't balanced under Dorival Júnior but they have so much attacking talent that won't see them slip below being a top contender. It's also a tournament where 17-year-old Endrick can make his mark before joining Real Madrid during the summer following his 18th birthday. At some point, a full Real Madrid attack of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Endrick could make an appearance.


United States

Christian Pulisic is back where he made his tournament debut for the United States in Copa America 2016 with high expectations. The USMNT have had highs and lows in qualifying for this tournament but they are still among the top contenders to make it to the round of 16. With a tough draw, their run may end there though. 



Enner Valencia along with Kendry Páez shows a balance between Ecuador's past and present as they're ready to show what they can do in this tournament. Suffering narrow losses to Argentina and Italy, Ecuador can defend well but needs to balance things better in attack to reach their full potential. 



I struggle with where to place Mexico. On one hand, Mexico can score goals when Uriel Antuna is tuned in, but defensively, El Tri can't keep up with top teams. They bounced back from losing to Uruguay but allowing seven goals in two games of preparation for Copa America doesn't inspire confidence.



A hard team to rank, Venezuela haven't played a match since March when they drew against Guatemala. With a stout defense and Salomón Rondón leading the line, this Venezuela team can get results but having such a long layoff before a major tournament could come back to bite them.



We're in the early days of Jesse Marsch leading the Canucks but they've already secured a marquee result drawing against France in a friendly. Canada will need to gel and improve their play in midfield but with Alphonso Davies and Johnathan David leading the team, they can pull out results.



Leon Bailey is back ... well technically he's on the roster but not expected to show up for Copa America after calling out the federation, but the Reggae Boyz are also without stalwart Andre Blake at least to start the tournament, which is quite a blow defensively. When there is more noise off the pitch than on it, it's tough to make headway in an international tournament.



It's a very young Paraguay team that, while moving in the right direction, makes you wonder if they'll actually be able to stand up to stiffer opposition. Brighton man Julio Enciso will have a large role in whatever Paraguay do but he also needs help. 



Making a run to the Nations League semifinal, Panama have shined, especially in midfield led by Adalberto Carrasquilla. They now need to kick into a new gear. If Panama can somehow make it out of the group stage, that's when we're looking at something special. 



Likely with the highest average age in the tournament, it's hard to find something to like about this Chile squad. They'll get their goals but when faced with a fitter team that isn't drawn into a physical battle, they'll falter.


Costa Rica

Moving on from their golden generation, Costa Rica will enter their first tournament without Keylor Navas since 2008. Manfred Ugalde is an up-and-coming young striker and Joel Campbell is still involved but it does leave questions to answer.



Another team in transition, Bolivia don't have a focal point in attack now that their record goal scorer Marcelo Moreno has retired. Just giving a good account of themselves and beginning to establish a platform for the future is the goal.



Peru is essentially Chile but with less star power. Bottom of the table of World Cup qualifying, this is a team just looking for a positive heading into Copa America and they're hard to come by.

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