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2019 Copa America ultimate preview: Will Messi win this wide-open tournament on Brazil's home turf?

Brazil will host the Copa America for the first time in 30 years, with a tournament that is full of drama. Chile will look to defend back-to-back crowns, the Selecao will seek redemption on home soil, and Lionel Messi returns to Argentina for another chance at silverware with the senior national team.

ESPN FC's Tim Vickery spells out the biggest storylines of the tournament and assesses all 12 teams taking part in this summer's Copa America, with all matches streaming live in the U.S. on ESPN+.


Ecuador must capitalize on bright future after South American U20 Championships win

Ecuador won the South American Under-20 Championships on Sunday.

Ecuador's first ever title in the South American Under-20 Championships is a surprise development -- but one which is entirely welcome.

Sometimes "off the curve" results such as this one have to do with home advantage. Not this time. The tournament, which came to a gripping conclusion on Sunday, took place in Chile. In the last round, Argentina only needed a draw against a desperately disappointing Brazil to seal the title. But they went down 1-0 -- a result that did none of the old rivals too many...

Brazil, Argentina 'underdogs' as South America U20 Championships return

The serious stuff is about to start in one of the world's greatest showcases of emerging footballing talent. The second, decisive stage of the South American Under-20 Championships will soon be underway in Chile. Four nations have fallen by the wayside, while six remain to delight the army of European scouts and compete for the continent's four places in this year's World Under-20 Cup.

The second phase starts on Tuesday and comes to a conclusion 12 days later with a final round featuring the clash...

Argentina, Lionel Messi must end Ecuador woes to seal World Cup spot

Argentina's hopes of reaching the World Cup will take them to one of their more challenging environments when they visit Ecuador in the final CONMEBOL qualifier on Tuesday.

La Albiceleste, captained by Barcelona star Lionel Messi, have won just two of six World Cup qualifiers held in Ecuador and once since the current format began in 1996.

By winning at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa in Quito at an altitude of 2,782 metres above sea level, Argentina would secure fifth place and advance to a playoff...

 By Tim Vickery

Ecuador, Uruguay are reeling at the wrong time in World Cup qualifying

Uruguay's Oscar Washington Tabarez is looking for an improved defensive effort in Thursday's key match vs. Argentina.

South America's World Cup qualification campaign is a marathon. With a total of 18 rounds played over more than two years, stretching over three club seasons, it is all but impossible to maintain consistency from the first kickoff to the final whistle.

The early pacesetters of the current campaign know this all too well. Ecuador were out of the blocks at a blistering pace, winning their first four games. The only rivals at the top of the table were Uruguay. After six rounds, a third of the way through,...

 By Tim Vickery

Ecuador vs. Colombia puts CONMEBOL qualifying sides' deficiencies on display

With five rounds of the 18 to go, there are now four separate competitions taking place in CONMEBOL's World Cup qualifying campaign.

Brazil are in a category of their own. Seven consecutive victories have given them a seven-point lead at the top of the table. They are all but mathematically qualified for Russia 2018 and can use the rest of competition to try to ensure that they have not peaked too soon.

At the other end of the scale are Venezuela and Bolivia, down at the foot of the table with no...