Copa America power rankings: Uruguay now above Brazil after USMNT draw

Ryan Baldi
Copa America rankings
Copa America rankings

With the 2024 Copa America almost upon us, there are several teams riding a wave of momentum and setting their sights on a deep run in the tournament.

And there are others whose wobbly recent form means they’ll be hoping only to avoid embarrassment in the South American showcase that has migrated to the United States this summer.

On hand to help you separate the surging contenders from the fast-dropping disappointments, it’s the latest edition of the 2024 Copa America power rankings:


16) Bolivia (16)
Unable to count on their customary home advantage of the altitude of La Paz, Bolivia are likely to have a tough time at the Copa America.

They are the lowest-ranked team at the tournament and have managed just one win in their last 12 games, a run that includes 3-0 defeats to Uruguay and Argentina and a 5-1 thrashing by Brazil.


15) Panama (14)
While others have been building up to the Copa with a handful of pre-tournament warm-up friendlies, Panama have been playing competitive football. And winning.

They beat Guyana 2-0 on June 7 and then recorded a 3-1 victory over Montserrat three days later.

Panama have shown in recent years that they are no easy opponent on the international stage, as last year’s shoot-out victory over the USMNT at the Gold Cup proved. Getting out of a group that includes Uruguay and the host nation will require a major upset, though.

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14) Venezuela (12)
Venezuela’s last win came back in October last year against a Chile side who were reduced to 10 men for the final half-hour of their World Cup qualifier meeting. Their most recent outing was a 0-0 draw with Guatemala in March.

Fernando Batista’s side are strong defensively. Scoring is their problem. Their most likely source of goals at the Copa America will be veteran striker Salomon Rondon. The former West Brom and Everton man has been outstanding for Pachuca in Mexico, scoring 21 goals in 28 games this season, including a brace in a 3-0 victory over FC Cincinnati in the CONCACAF Champions Cup final earlier this month.


13) Costa Rica (15)
Argentina are the only side to have beaten Costa Rica in 2024. In six matches this year, Gustavo Alfaro’s side have racked up four wins. The only other side to keep them from victory are Uruguay, with whom the Costa Ricans drew 0-0 earlier this month.

The draw for the Copa America group stage has not been kind to Costa Rica, though, pitting them against Brazil and Colombia. And they will be without their biggest star at the tournament. Former Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Kaylor Navas retired from international football last month at the age of 37.


12) Jamaica (13)
Like Panama and Costa Rica, Jamaica have also been locked in the serious business of World Cup qualification this month. And like Panama and Costa Rica, they have also posted a 100% win rate from their two fixtures.

The Reggae Boyz have played recorded a 1-0 victory over the Dominican Republic and a 3-2 win over Dominica.

In a group with Ecuador, Venezuela and Mexico at the Copa America, the odds are against Jamaica making it to the quarter-finals, but they boast Premier League quality in the form of West Ham’s Michail Antonio and Fulham’s Bobby Decordova-Reid and are coming off a third-place finish in the CONCACAF Nations League. Dark horses?


11) Paraguay (11)
There is plenty of talent within Daniel Garnero’s Paraguay squad. Newcastle midfielder Miguel Almiron, who will be playing in his third Copa America, provides Premier League quality; as does Brighton’s exciting 20-year-old forward Julio Enciso. And Diego Gomez, an Inter Miami team-mate of Lionel Messi, has impressed in MLS this season, too.

For all their ability, though, results have been hugely disappointing. A 1-0 win over Panama in their final pre-Copa warm-up friendly was Paraguay’s first win since they beat Bolivia 1-0 back in October. Earlier this month, they were thrashed 3-0 by Chile and drew 0-0 with Peru.


10) Canada (10)
Headlined by Lille striker Jonathan David and Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies, Jesse Marsch’s Canada squad possesses two of the most talented and sought-after young players at the Copa America. After the star pair, though, the level of quality drops off, making the Canadians one of the most lopsided teams in the tournament and thus difficult to judge in terms of their prospects.

Canada’s form going into the Copa gives little indication of their direction of travel, too. They’ve won just one of their last seven games, but a 0-0 draw with Euro 2024 favourites France on June 9 shows the potential for them to punch above their weight against top opposition.


9) Peru (9)
Like their Group A opponents Canada, Peru are another team who are difficult to figure out as the Copa America gears up. They won just one of 10 fixtures in 2023, but they have recovered from that dismal run with three wins and a draw in their four games so far in 2024.

The strength of opposition they have faced this year – Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay and El Salvador – detracts somewhat from how impressive those results can be deemed.


8) Chile (8)
Chile won back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016 and have not failed to get out of the group stage in two decades. Making it to the knockout rounds this year, however, will prove extremely difficult for Ricardo Gareca’s men, who have been drawn in a group with Argentina, Canada and Peru.

Dario Osorio, the 20-year-old FC Midtjylland winger, is one of the most exciting young players at the tournament. At the other end of the age spectrum, captain and former Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, 41, and ex-Arsenal and Manchester United star Alexis Sanchez, 35, provide a link to past Copa glory.

Resounding 3-0 victories over Albania and Paraguay and a narrow 3-2 loss to France in their last three fixtures show La Roja have plenty of firepower.


7) Mexico (6)
When Mexico beat Bolivia 1-0 in a pre-Copa friendly on June 1, it looked like they might be about to build on a recent run to the final of the CONCACAF Nations League, in which they were beaten by the United States in March.

But since then they have lost both of their final two friendlies ahead of the tournament, soundly beaten 3-0 by Uruguay and then edged out 3-2 by Brazil.

In Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez, they have one of the rising stars of European football. The Argentina-born poacher scored 26 goals in 41 games this past season, leading to reported interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Real Madrid. But he has been unable to translate his scoring form to the international stage, with just four goals from 27 caps.

With an expected strong support from fans travelling up from south of the border and placed in a group with Jamaica, Ecuador and Venezuela, Mexico should qualify for the knockout rounds.


6) Ecuador (7)
Ecuador are one of the hottest teams in South America at the moment. Since being eliminated from the 2022 World Cup at the group stage, they have lost only four times in 15 games – twice to Argentina by a 1-0 scoreline, once to European champions Italy and once in a double-header against Australia in which they won the return fixture.

In that time, they’ve beaten Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier and recorded a credible draw with Colombia. In their two most recent Copa warm-ups, they beat Bolivia 3-1 and Honduras 2-1.

Felix Sanchez Bas’ side are one of the most intriguing teams in the tournament for the make-up of their squad, which is full of talent and has a wide age range.

Former West Ham striker and all-time leading scorer Enner Valencia, who is now 34 and captains the team, will lead the line. Their midfield is patrolled by £115 million Chelsea star Moises Caicedo. And in Stamford Bridge-bound 17-year-old Kendry Paez they have one of the Copa’s most exciting youngsters.


5) United States (5)
The USMNT’s crushing 5-1 loss to Colombia threatened to derail their Copa America preparations, with calls from some quarters for head coach Gregg Berhalter to be dismissed.

But Christian Pulisic and co. responded with a thoroughly credible 1-1 draw with Brazil in their last warm-up game, a match in which they looked wholly comfortable up against some of the biggest stars of South American football.

Berhalter fielded an all-Europe-based starting line-up against Colombia, the first time in USMNT history the side had been comprised entirely of players plying their trade overseas. With the likes of Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Chris Richards, the USMNT is arguably more talent-rich than ever before.

READ: USMNT squad ranked from chili dog to bison’s backside ahead of Copa America


4) Colombia (4)
After extending their remarkable undefeated run that dates back to February 2022 with a 3-0 victory over Bolivia in their final preparatory fixture, Nestor Lorenzo’s Colombia are the form team of the Copa America.

Their streak of 23 matches without a loss includes impressive victories over Brazil, Germany and Spain. And on June 8 they indicated their readiness for a deep run in the Stateside South American championship by smashing the USMNT 5-1.

Star man James Rodriguez, now 32 and playing his club football in Brazil with Sao Paulo, has rediscovered a level of form that has eluded him for much of the last five years, while Liverpool winger Luis Diaz is the team’s dynamic attacking focal point.


3) Brazil (2)
After finishing runners-up to Messi and Argentina on home soil in the last edition of the Copa America, Brazil will be determined to banish the painful memory of that defeat at the Maracana by going all the way in the USA.

But the form they are carrying into the tournament doesn’t inspire great confidence in the five-time World Cup winners. They scraped past Mexico 3-2 on June 9 and then looked disjointed in a 1-1 draw with the USMNT.

A cruciate knee ligament rupture means Neymar is not part of manager Dorival Junior’s Copa squad. The Selecao still boast an abundance of talent, led by Real Madrid trio Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and teenage sensation Endrick, but they’ve now won just twice in their last eight games.


2) Uruguay (3)
Uruguay’s stock is rising in the run-up to the 2024 Copa America. They have lost just once in their last eight games and are the last team to beat Argentina, scoring a 2-0 win over the world champions La Bombonera in Buenos Aires back in November.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side will begin the tournament on a high after smashing Mexico 4-0 in their final warm-up game on June 6, with Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez twice on the scoresheet.

And the form of the Reds’ striker could be key to Uruguay’s hopes of a first South American championship since 2011. Nunez has scored five goals in his last four appearances for the Celeste.


1) Argentina (1)
After looking a little sluggish in a 1-0 friendly victory over Ecuador on June 10, tournament favourites Argentina recorded a morale-boosting 4-0 thrashing of Guatemala in their final warm-up fixture.

Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez were both on the scoresheet in that one, and if the Albiceleste’s star forwards keep their scoring boots on for the Copa America, there’ll be no stopping the defending champions.

Lionel Scaloni’s side have a few key men very much in the twilight of their careers, but they have young legs, too, in the likes of Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Julian Alvarez, Alejandro Garnacho and Martinez. They have lost just once in eight fixtures since lifting the World Cup in Qatar a year and a half ago.