Alexis Sanchez - Chile - October 2015
REUTERS/Janine Costa

Chile: Copa America Centenario Team Guide

After finally winning their first Copa America last year, Chile continued their roll into World Cup 2018 qualifying, including a memorable win over Brazil. However, the team has experienced a couple of bumps in the road since then and will be looking to get back to their best before the tourney rolls around.

3 Stars

  • Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal/England) – Though he tends to be more dangerous coming from a wide position, Sanchez is often asked to play as a box forward. He's most potent on the counter, where his speed and dribbling skills can dominate. He is not much of a crosser, preferring to breach the box instead. The Gunner does shoot well from distnce, though.
  • Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich/Germany) – An outstanding passer, Vidal is invaluable in possession and when entering the final third. He is also a tough-tackling defensive workhorse, but can be a card risk on occasion. While most productive offensively when stationed in the center of the park, he is usually fielded out wide by Chile due to his game management attributes.
  • Mauricio Isla (Marseille/France) – A true gamer, Isla loves to run up and down the wing making plays. Though he can work from midfield or the back line, he typically works as a wingback for his country. A fine passer and crosser, the veteran is a buzzing recovery-and-help ace on the defensive side of the ball.

Manager

Juan Antonio Pizzi – Though born in Argentina, Pizzi spent most of his outstanding playing career as a striker in Spain and amassed 22 caps for their national team. His managerial career began back in his native land in 2005 and he would eventually win the Argentine title with San Lorenzo in 2013. After spending 2015 coaching US international Miguel Ibarra and William Yarbrough with Mexican side Leon, he was appointed to his first international post as Chile manager this January when Jorge Sampaoli abruptly departed due to a contract dispute.

Copa America Group D Schedule

June 6 vs. Argentina (10 pm ET, Levi's Stadium – Santa Clara, Ca.)
June 10 vs. Bolivia (7 pm ET, Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, Ma.)
June 14 vs. Panama (8 pm ET, Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, Pa.)
Full schedule

Copa America Squad

Goalkeepers (3): Claudio Bravo, Johnny Herrera, Cristopher Toselli
Defenders (5): Mauricio Isla, Gonzalo Jara, Gary Medel, Eugenio Mena, Enzo Roco
Midfielders (9): Charles Aranguiz, Jean Beausejour, Marclo Diaz, Matias Fernandez, Jose Pedro Fuenzalida, Pablo Hernandez, Erick Pulgar, Francisco Silva, Arturo Vidal
Forwards (6): Nicolas Castillo, Fabian Orellana, Mauricio Pinilla, Edson Puch, Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas

Starting XI (4-4-2)

  • GK: Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile)
  • RB: Mauricio Isla (Marseille)
  • CB: Gary Medel (Inter Milan)
  • CB: Gonzalo Jara (Universidad de Chile)
  • LB: Eugenio Mena (Sao Paulo)
  • DM: Francesco Silva (Jaguares)
  • RCM: Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • AM: Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)
  • LCM: Jean Beausejour (Colo Colo)
  • FW: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
  • FW: Mauricio Pinilla (Atalanta)

Style of play

The defending Copa America champs generally prefer to work an organized, somewhat conservative match, but are quite capable of opening up if the contest circumstances dictate it. Their main avenues of attack are up the flanks, where their most skilled players thrive at high speed. Pizzi likes his teams to control possession and play on the ground, while swarming the opponent's top attackers in their end.

How they qualified

Automatically qualified as one of 10 South American nations.

Copa America history

Chile won their first championship in 2015 on home soil. It was their fifth trip to the final and first since 1987. It was also the fifth time in the last six editions that they've successfully advanced out of the group phase.

Memorable moments

After five runners-up finishes and five bronze medals, Chile finally celebrated their first Copa America win in 2015. They've also played in nine World Cups, with a third-place finish being their best one back in 1962 when they hosted.

United States vs Chile

Matches US Wins US Losses Draws
Overall 3 3 2
Official Competitions 1 2 1
Friendlies 2 1 1

MLS Connections

Vancouver's Pedro Morales, the 2014 Newcomer of the Year, is the only Chilean currently employed in MLS. Over its history, the league has had nine players out of Chile; with 12 more appearances, Morales will lead his countrymen in total MLS games played.

Team Guides