Hulk - Brazil - June 2014
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brazil: Copa America Centenario Team Guide

As the world's standard-bearers for attractive, flair-filled soccer, the Samba Kings need little introduction. Their lustrous image was dinged a bit with their rude World Cup 2014 ouster and early Copa America exit last year. They've also made a middling start to World Cup 2018 qualifying, but make no mistake in thinking that Brazil have become weak sisters. They are still loaded with players starring for the biggest clubs in the world and capable of embarrassing anyone on a given day.

3 Stars

  • Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg/Russia) – Sure, the Brazil forward is strong, as his name suggests, but he's much more than a power forward. Hulk also smashes it on the dribble, and can darken your door from any direction in the final third.
  • Dani Alves (Barcelona/Spain) – The fiery, speedy veteran loves to run the flank and ship heat-seeking crosses into the box. Due to his strength and passing quality, Alves participates in the possession game much more than the usual wingback. He is also a fierce tackler, but can get a bit reckless with challenges.
  • Willian (Chelsea/England) – The strong dribbler and passer is finally fulfilling his international potential. He has two goals and three helpers in his last five Brazil games. Willian also hits as nasty a free kick as anyone.

Manager

Dunga – The head coach earned 91 Brazil caps as a hard-nosed defensive midfielder. He celebrated a World Cup win in the States in 1994, as well as two Copa America crowns. His first stint as Selecao boss began in 2006 and he guided the team to the Copa America championship the following year. However, he was dismissed after a quarterfinal exit at the 2010 World Cup. Dunga was named Brazil manager for the second time after their disastrous 7-1 semifinal ouster at the 2014 World Cup on home soil. In his second Copa America run at the helm, they were bounced by Paraguay in the 2015 quarters.

Copa America Group B Schedule

June 4 vs. Ecuador (10 pm ET, Rose Bowl – Pasadena, Ca.)
June 8 vs. Haiti (7:30 pm ET, Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fl.)
June 12 vs. Peru (8:30 pm ET, Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, Ma.)
Full schedule

Copa America Squad

Goalkeepers (3): Alisson, Diego Alves, Marcelo Grohe
Defenders (8): Miranda, Gil, Marquinhos, Rodrigo Caio, Dani Alves, Filipe Luis, Fabinho, Douglas Santos
Midfielders (9): Elias, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho, Paulo Ganso, Lucas Lima, Willian, Casemiro, Lucas Moura, Walace
Forwards (3): Hulk, Gabriel, Jonas

Starting XI (4-3-3)

  • GK: Alisson (Internacional)
  • RB: Dani Alves (Barcelona)
  • CB: Miranda (Inter Milan)
  • CB: Gil (Shandong Luneng)
  • LB: Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
  • DM: Casemiro (Real Madrid)
  • AM: Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan)
  • AM: Elias (Corinthians)
  • RW: Willian (Chelsea)
  • LW: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
  • FW: Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg)

Style of play

The team operates a bit different with Dunga in charge, but there is still plenty of "jogo bonito" (aka Beautiful Game) to go around. This manager likes his sides to be solid at the back and go from there. That being said, ducks will walk and quack like ducks, and so Brazil will continue to play with skill and creativity in the attacking zone. These days, however, that flair is much more often found on the counterattack than in their dominant days past.

How they qualified

Automatically qualified as one of 10 South American nations.

Copa America history

The Samba Kings have raised the Copa America trophy eight times, with four titles from the last seven editions. However, they've been knocked out at the quarterfinal stage the last two times. Only Argentina have dropped more finals than Brazil, who have settled for 11 second-place finishes.

Memorable moments

The Selecao have won a record five World Cup titles, thrilling fans worldwide along the way. They've also scored eight Copa America championships, four Confederations Cup crowns and they even came north to take a pair of CONCACAF Gold Cups back to Brazil. The list of names to have worn the famous yellow jersey is long and lustrous, with Pele, Zico, Garrincha, Romario and Ronaldo just the tip of their superstar iceberg.

United States vs Brazil

Matches US Wins US Losses Draws
Overall 1 16 1
Official Competitions 1 9 1
Friendlies 0 7 0

MLS Connections

Orlando City superstar Kaka is the most prominent of the 14 Brazilians currently on MLS squads. Since the league's inception, there have been 71 Brazilians that have seen MLS action, the third-highest sum of all foreign countries. Among the top Brazilian imports: 2007 MVP and Golden Boot winner Luciano Emilio, 2013 top scorer Camilo and three-time MLS Cup champion Leonardo, who still features for the LA Galaxy.

Team Guides