Monday, February 22, 2016

How Tough is the US Group in Copa America Centenario?

I saw a fair bit of hand-wringing on Twitter yesterday as the Copa America Centenario group draw took place, which landed the USA in the most difficult group. Such complaining is unwarranted in my view - well, at least of you want USA men's soccer to join the global elite. I'll explain . . .

Here are the average 2016 Copa Centenario Group SPI rankings (courtesy @PCarrESPN), in order from highest average ranked to lowest:

  • Group A = 22.75 (USA)
  • Group D = 31.5
  • Group B = 32.75
  • Group C = 33.5

Here is the same average SPI ranking for the 2014 World Cup groups:

Group D = 14.0
Group G = 15.25 (USA)
Group B = 17.5
Group E = 18.25
Group C = 19.75
Group F = 20.5
Group A = 23.5
Group H = 33.25

While the USA indeed in the most challenging group in the Copa Centenario, that group would have been one of the easiest in the 2014 World Cup.

Want to be the best? Then play the best.


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