Bite Me: Uruguay 2019 Copa América Preview

Don T

Don T

Poor choices, mixed results.
¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
Titans4Eva
Don T

Lips near each other, no teeth showing: perfect form for a kiss. That was in 2011, the last time Uruguay won the Copa América. Incidentally, that was the last Copa in which Luis Suárez played. He will play in this one; chomp on that, folks.

There have been 43 Copa Américas played and Uruguay has the highest number of titles: 15. (Argentina is second with 14, with Brasil a distant third with 8.) The talking points on Uruguay have been covered before: the original international fútbol superpower in the first half of the XXth Century, despite being a tiny nation of about 3.5 million people whom non-South Americans think are surprisingly down-to-earth Argentinians.

Geography and runaway capitalism brought fútbol to Uruguay. Its coast had one of the main ports for English merchant ships in the XIXth Century, and the sight of pasty men braving the sun to kick around a ball captured the locals’ imagination. The first Campeonato Suramericano (later named the Copa América), was played in 1916 between Argentina, Brasil, Chile, and Uruguay. By then, Uruguay had earned widespread disgust for being the only national team in the world to include black players. Chile lost the first game 4-0, and protested that the other team had fielded “two professional Africans”. The Chileans later apologized, and Uruguay won that tournament.

Uruguay won their final World Cup in Brasil in 1950, against Brasil in front of the biggest crowd ever in attendance at a fútbol game. That was Uruguay’s fourth World Championship, and its biggest glory and curse ever since. Success in fútbol was seen as an Uruguayan birthright; all that was required was national pride and pluck. Spoiler Alert: Nawt really.

Lack of memorable success at World Cups ossified Uruguay’s reputation as early peakers who played a cynical brand of fútbol: hard fouls, emphasis on defense, look for opportune counterattacks. Then, Uruguayan fútbol entered the XXIst Century in 2006.

The national male teams, from U15 and above, have been overseen since 2006 by a former school teacher, Óscar Wáshington Tabárez, whom everybody calls El Maestro. (Fun Fact! “Maestro” is how Jesus’s disciples refer to [h]im in Spanish Bibles.) In brief, the Uruguayan domestic league has mostly been two Big Deal teams from the capital (Nacional and Peñarol, who provided most of the National Team players), plus a handful of lesser Montevideo teams and the odd upstart from the interior. The income for the teams, even the rich ones, was not there. So, Tabárez started what was called The Process, a discrete principle for development despite its Kafkian name: identify the best youngsters from anywhere; get them to top youth programs; complement their development at National Team headquarters; and, sell them early to teams abroad, in more competitive leagues, and import their new skills to the national teams.

The breakthrough came in 2010, with Uruguay’s 4th place finish at the South Africa World Cup, and then the 2011 Copa América win IN ARGENTINA SUCK IT. Then came a bite in the 2014 World Cup against that paragon of Fair Play who would never ever resort to shithousing: Italy. Sigh.

Look, it happened and Suárez paid a steep price. Since then, well. [Lights cigarette, crosses leg, lets handsomeness fully shine through.] In less than five full seasons, Suárez is already the FIF top scorer in the history of FC Barcelona (167 goals in 223 games), multiple La Liga Champion, a Chamions League Medal, plus the odd Copa del Rey thrown in for good measure. He is my favorite player, but yeah: I get it. Suárez’s competitiveness and genius will never get its fair shake. That’s reality—fine. But that shit will always make my list:

Excerpt from SLIGHTS2019.xlsx

 In Russia, Uruguay had the misfortune of having forward Edinson Cavani out for the quarterfinal against World Champ Frenz, and lost 2-0. The French played keep-away masterfully, and Suárez was almost only seen in the match berating sub-turned-starter Cristhian Stuani. [shrugs.] Hothead has temper; stop the presses.

This Uruguay team should be one of the 2019 Copa favorites. The youths that got their first caps in Russia are top notch, notably midfielders Diego Laxalt (AC Milan, Energizer Bunny-type defender), Lucas Torreira (Arsenal, pint-size destroyer), Rodrigo Betancur (Juventus), Nahitán Nández (Boca Juniors hothead), and Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Flamengo, the current “WHY ISN’T HE A REGULAR STARTER” guy according to fans of the Uruguayan Nat’l Team). The goalie is still Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), solid, SOLID guy, despite flubbing the second against France in Russia. That error caused central defender José María Giménez (Atlético Madrid) to lose his shit and spend the few minutes remaining covering his crying face with his kit. Pure lack of professionalism and poise—sure. But no one can accuse him or the rest of the charrúas for NOT going all-out for country every. Damn. Time. Full squad:

The Copa group games are not gimmes:

June 16 – vs. Ecuador

June 20 – Japan

June 24 – vs. arch-rival Chile

Japan had a very good tourney in Russia and may be tops in good manners in the fútbol world. Well, this is a Copa, where almost anything goes:

Chile, 2015: Edinson Cavani receives a red card for protesting this (via YouTube)

Alexis Sánchez in the background doing nothing. Vaya sorpresa.

Finally, this could be the last tournament in which both stars at forward, Edinson Cavani and Suárez, play for Uruguay. [UPDATE: there’s another Copa next year, so who knows.] Both are in their 30s but still atop the top scorers in Europe. I will go to the grave thinking that Uruguay would have won the 2018 World Cup if Cavani were healthy–or at the very least, in the semis, giving Belgium a chippy game that is Uruguay’s historical comfort zone. But South America is La Celeste’s stomping grounds, even in Brasil. Sweet 16 baby!

Banner via AFP / elmundo.es

Don T
Don T
Poor choices, mixed results. ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre! Titans4Eva
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theeWeeBabySeamusballsofsteelandfuryKing HippoDon Tblaxabbath Recent comment authors
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ballsofsteelandfury

Can someone check in on tWBS to make sure he hasn’t burned to a crisp by the pool?

It’s 107 degrees at 4 pm Pacific.

theeWeeBabySeamus

I made it back inside to the a/c and the weed. No worries.

blaxabbath

We should be having a judiciary committee open thread.

Gym Jordan would be an excellent [DFO] recurring character.

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King Hippo

He would fit in nicely with our Young Boys coverage. 😀

King Hippo

I am really mad at Canadia right now.

scotchnaut

Like, even Moose Factory?

King Hippo

fortunately, I made my Peruvian (Ayacucho WOO!!!) bet, to keep me at pretty close to evens for the afternoon. But tis only because I saw worrying trends and counter-bet myself.

I am NOT good at the Euro Qualifiers.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

Wooo! +17 pts.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Seriously, Bob’s Burgers marathon is the best thing evar when you’re high as fuck!!!!
Errrrrr……or so I’ve been told.

scotchnaut

Worst. Cooking. Show. Ever.

scotchnaut

Announcer: “Cameroon about to make a change.”

Cameroon: [changes official languages of French and English to Camfranglais]

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

Hey, that Oscar de la Hoya Photoshop work is straight out of the Low Commander playbook!
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scotchnaut

Desiree Scott is a marvelous and relentless and physical defender.

scotchnaut

Free kick for Canada. (I bet Beckie takes it)

scotchnaut

nvm

scotchnaut

Woo!*

*edited for length and overt non-Canadian-ness

King Hippo

really nice goooooooool

/always bet on BLACK!

King Hippo

I can think of nothing more “fish out of water” than a Canadian black woman attending West By God Virginia

theeWeeBabySeamus

Is she hot?

King Hippo

Beckie takes the corners from the left and the right – that make her bi?

scotchnaut

Bi-Polar. But in a good way. 🙂

King Hippo

Beckie, with it in the box – I almost fainted

King Hippo

nvm, misplaced

scotchnaut

There’s no doubt in my mind what you’ll be calling your gently-used Fleshlight.

King Hippo

they probably NEVAR play outside in the rain in Canadia – too much hypothermia risk

King Hippo

whereas in Afrika, they BLESS that shit!

scotchnaut

Well, at least Dorothy’s dog did.

scotchnaut

Canucks passing is not crisp at all. I see talent but something is just off.

King Hippo

at least I ain’t bet HT after all

/but did bet $60 to win by 2+

scotchnaut

As soon as they get a shot on goal it’s on. Rain’s coming down now.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Seriously, these 25mg THC pills are the shit.
And I can get them thru security and back home.

I need to go shopping tomorrow.

scotchnaut

Beckie is a creator.

scotchnaut

History Bite: Did you know that Jessie Fleming is the great, great granddaughter of Sanford Fleming, the gentlemen that invented time in the mid to late Glinkvan* era?

*months didn’t have any names yet

theeWeeBabySeamus

I’ve read your comment three times, and apparently I’m just too high to understand it. Or even give a shit.

scotchnaut

Understanding it would be dangerous cause tis a silly thing.

theeWeeBabySeamus

I am not familiar with this particular historical figure…but….let’s start with invented time, for $400 Alex?

scotchnaut

tis silly, nothing more.

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem
theeWeeBabySeamus

Bob’s Burgers is so awesome…

Babies gettin’ rabies

Also, I might be a little high.

King Hippo

Team Israel’s visit to Poland is likely…interesting

/in case you don’t follow teh news, Poland is experiencing a sharp upswing of holocaust denial

King Hippo

But I think #4 is Hippo’s official Canadia selecion

scotchnaut

Puts, “Nichelle, my belle!” in my back pocket for future use.

scotchnaut

[crowd roars as Cameroon gets opportunity]

Me: “What the… [thinks for just a second] Oh yeah, right.”

King Hippo

little MOAR open than the first match of the day, to say the least

King Hippo

Fine, Beckie! And I do mean Fine Beckie!!

scotchnaut

Beckie’s got a fine leg.

King Hippo

look at us, concurrent posting in the same vein!

/no homo obvs

scotchnaut

Maybe our spirit animals are ‘open’ to such things?

/it’s just a theory

King Hippo

Not loving my “Sweden +1” wager, even at +177

King Hippo

Sweden has a black guy, and the commentator called him The Danger Man.

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

“Kafkian”

Brilliant.

Still the Lesser Guay. #teamBetterGuay #arbitrarybandwagon

King Hippo

Spain/Sweden on ESPN News

King Hippo

Whole bunch of random Euro qualifier matches on in 30 mins, too

King Hippo

so much for “minnow del torneo” – and my #2 played all 90 minutes, just superb!

King Hippo

so I suppose this draw would be like…sniffing one’s brother’s dirty boxer shorts??

scotchnaut

Japanese vendor machine suppliers… you heard the man-get to it!

scotchnaut

Halftime! Gotta go get my wiper motor replaced! Take that as you will.

blaxabbath

Shoulder surgery?

scotchnaut

Stupid people rescheduled half an hour later.

scotchnaut

Re: below convo with Hippo-“You know what they say, firm breasts, firm defense.”

It’s a well-know fact that the French soldiers manning the Maginot Line had saggy ones.

scotchnaut

Japan collapses on the Argies as soon as they get possession near the half line. Very effective.

King Hippo

but th Argie defensing has been really good. And they aren’t playing anti-football, either

scotchnaut

Agreed-it’s an oddball stalemate that I haven’t really seen before. I need to watch more soccer.*

*I’m trying, obviously

King Hippo

Coach Parcells gets his first shit-eating grin of the match (yellow card on Japan)

scotchnaut

Hippo, are you doing anything with Canuck/Camos?

King Hippo

I may do a “1st half” bet on Canadia. Just a “FT win” is like -700, so no value

King Hippo

obvs, will spend most of it pining for TSN coverage and Kaylyn Kyle

scotchnaut

But Camo is Indomitable. And they’re Lionesses! And they’re… ranked 46th in the world.

scotchnaut

If #14 for Japan had over-sized, eyes, rabbit ears and could shoot fireballs out of her hands, I could really see myself pulling for her. She’s 22 so the ‘ick’ factor is definitely there.

/maybe I’ll pull for her anyway
//”I’m not saying she’s my pick though

King Hippo

take your time, no reason to finish early

King Hippo

c’mon, Argies. MAKE HIPPO MONEYS AND GENTLY USED FLESHLIGHT GLORY!!111

King Hippo

Christine Sinclair may catch Abby Wambach in “total goals” but never in terms of pussies wrecked

scotchnaut

“That’s a thing?”

-Ron Jeremy, smirking

King Hippo

True #BFIB FACT! Our 13th round pick was an OF named Tommy Jew

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

He was indeed one of The Chosen

King Hippo

I choose Argentina’s #2 ahora

scotchnaut

After China’s very poor showing in the “Old Creepy Men Pick Their Female Soccer Crushes” sweepstakes, I wonder if Japan will restore some glory for Asia? Stay tuned.

King Hippo

admittedly, I’ve always had sommet of a South American fetish, but nae the far more common Asian fetish.

King Hippo

also I am proud to have lived long enough to be thought of as “old” even before the “creepy”

King Hippo

I misread my cable event schedule (going to FS1) listing of “Red Bull Cliff Diving” as Red Bull MUFF Diving

King Hippo

Hippo has the Argentines beating Japan in the nooner today, which apparently…would pay off 20-to-1?

blaxabbath

Suárez is a bitch and, unrelated, my least favorite Property Brother.

comment image?crop=0.985xw:1.00xh;0,0&resize=768:*

LemonJello
LemonJello

Did he have his ears pinned/clipped for some Uruguayan Kumite?

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“My least favorite propery brother is Jared.” – Joshua Kushner

King Hippo

Least Favourite Property Brother is good nickname hustle

Wakezilla

Good write up Don T. Do you know what forwards are in the pipeline? I’d imagine that depending on how good they are will determine whether Suarez and Cavani get more shots

Wakezilla

“Alexis Sánchez in the background doing nothing”

Well, at least he’s consistent.

ballsofsteelandfury

That was my favourite line.