Venezuela opens it 2019 Copa America against Peru on June 15, 2019, in Match 2 at the Arena de Gremio at Porto de Alegre in Brazil.

The Venezuelans are in Group A of the tournament and are bracketed alongside host nation Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. The top two teams in each group advance to the second round while the third-placed team can also make it to the knockout stage.

Soccer Venezuela

Venezuela is the only team in South Korea never to have appeared in the World Cup. Their biggest football achievement to date was a second place finish to England at the last U-20 World Cup. Venezuela made the semifinals in the 2011 Copa America, their best finish ever in the tournament. Coach Rafael Dudamel’s Copa America squad features 21 out of 23 players playing in foreign countries, with only Arquimides Figuera of Deportivo La Guaira and goalkeeper Joel Graterol of Zamora playing locally.

Here are the members of Venezuela’s 23-man squad for the 2019 Copa America:

  • Goalkeeper: Wuilker Farinez, Rafael Romo, Joel Graterol
  • Defenders: Ronald Hernandez, Rolf Feltscher, Yordan Osorio, Mikel Villanueva, Jhon Chancellor, Roberto Rosales, Luis Mago
  • Midfielders: Junior Moreno, Archimedes Figuera, Yangel Herrera, Luis Manuel Seijas, Juan Pablo Anor, Tomas Rincon, Jhon Murillo, Adalberto Peñaranda, Jefferson Savarino, Darwin Machis
  • Forwards: Salomon Rondon, Fernando Aristeguieta, Josef Martanez.
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Soccer Peru

Peru last won the Copa America in 1975 but they finished in third place in 2011 and 2015. They also made the 2018 FIFA World Cup under current manager Ricardo Gareca. Gareca’s 2019 Copa America squad is led by three Major League Soccer players, namely NYCFC defender Alexander Callens, Seattle Sounders Forward Raul Ruidiaz and Portland Timbers winger Andy Polo.

  • Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese, Carlos Caceda, Patricio Alvarez
  • Defenders: Luis Advincula, Carlos Zambrano, Miguel Trauco, Aldo Corzo, Alexander Callens, Miguel Araujo, Anderson Santamaria, Luis Abra
  • Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotun, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Renato Tapia, Christofer Gonzales, Jesus Pretell, Paolo Hurtado
  • Forwards: Jefferson Farfan, Paolo Guerrero, Andre Carillo, Raul Ruidiaz, Andy Polo

Soccer Who Wins?

These squads have faced each other a total of 14 times since 2003. Peru has six wins and Venezuela has five while the two teams have figured in a draw three times during that period. These teams last met on March 24, 2017, during Round 13 of the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualification and they ended up in a 2-2 draw.

Venezuela continued its COPA America preparations with a 1-1 draw against Ecuador last Saturday in Miami. The La Vinotinto took the lead in the 38th minute when Roberto Rosales converted a penalty kick. Although Venezuelan head coach Rafael Dudamel has already his 23-man line-up for the Copa America tournament, he says there are still players that he is evaluating and he isn’t ruling out making some changes.

La Vinotinto was missing eight players from their Copa America roster as the Ecuador encounter wasn’t an official FIFA play date. Four players playing in the U.S. Major League Soccer were absent: Josef Martinez of the Atlanta United, Rolf Feltscher of the L.A. Galaxy, Junior Moreno of DC United and Jefferson Savarino of Real Salt Lake.

For Peru, the soccer betting favorites in this match, the key to their campaign could be the return of leader Paolo Guerrero who will don the national colors after serving a drug-related suspension. It can be recalled that Guerrero tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, during a World Cup Qualifier match in 2017.

Since he was cleared to return last April, Guerrero has been in fine form for Brazil’s Internacional squad. He has scored 9 goals since his return to Inter, including one during their most recent 2-0 win over Avai on Sunday. Guerrero is Peru’s all-time leading goal scorer with 36 goals across 91 games played. He scored five goals in the 2011 Copa America and added another four goals in the same tournament four years later.

Venezuela has an experienced team led by captain Tomas Rincon and Salomon Rondon. But not only does Rondon only have 21 goals in 70 international matches, but he also didn’t see action during Saturday’s friendly against Ecuador. That created speculation that he may be injured. That has been denied by coach Dudamel who said he was merely experimenting with his provisional line-up. Much of Venezuela’s hopes depend on Rondon’s scoring.

On the other hand, Peru has been boosted by the return of Guerrero who is going to be crucial in a very inexperienced squad which only has five players with double-digit caps. However, given their consistent showing in the Copa America and their return to the World Cup scene last year, Peru looks in better form than Venezuela. Prediction: Peru

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