Paolo Guerrero - Peru - July 13, 2015
REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Peru: Copa America Centenario Team Guide

Long a troubled side, Peru have suddenly reached consecutive Copa America semifinals. Though certainly not as skilled as the top South American teams, their current squad is well-drilled, has plenty of experience and may be deeper than any one they've had for about 40 years. They are not to be taken lightly.

3 Stars

  • Christian Cueva (Toluca/Mexico) – After helping Peru to a third-place Copa finish last year, the winger is back and charged with acting as their primary playmaker. Cueva works from the left, but is sneaky enough to pop up anywhere along the front line.
  • Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo/Brazil) – The forward is a Copa America killer, having scored 10 times in his last dozen tournament appearances. Guerrero loves to play combos and run the break, and is a magnet for drawing fouls. He is rather sloppy with his back to goal, though.
  • Renato Tapia (Feyenoord/Netherlands) – The 20-year-old do-it-all midfielder did not have an immediate impact after making a winter move from FC Twente, but he looks ready to break through for Peru. Tapia is strong, agile and technical with the ball.


Ricardo Gareca – "The Tiger" once starred alongside Diego Maradona with Boca Juniors and earned 20 caps with Argentina. After managing 10 different clubs in his homeland, Brazil and Colombia, Gareca took his first international job with Peru in February 2015. He had immediate success, leading the long-forgotten side to a third-place finish at the 2011 Copa America. He then repeated that feat four years later.

Copa America Group B Schedule

June 4 vs. Haiti (7:30 pm ET, CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Wa.)
June 8 vs. Ecuador (10 pm ET, University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, Az.)
June 12 vs. Brazil (8:30 pm ET, Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, Ma.)
Full schedule

Copa America Squad

Goalkeepers (3): Carlos Caceda, Pedro Gallese, Diego Penny
Defenders (8): Luis Abram, Jair Cespedes, Aldo Corzo, Christian Ramos, Renzo Revoredo, Alberto Rodriguez, Miguel Trauco, Yoshimar Yotun
Midfielders (8): Armando Alfageme, Adan Balbin, Cristian Benavente, Christian Cueva, Luiz da Silva, Alejandro Hohberg, Renato Tapia, Oscar Vilchez
Forwards (4): Edison Flores, Paolo Guerrero, Andy Polo, Raul Ruidiaz

Starting XI (4-2-3-1)

  • GK: Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich)
  • RB: Renzo Revoredo (Sporting Cristal)
  • CB: Alberto Rodriguez (Sporting Cristal)
  • CB: Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich)
  • LB: Yoshimar Yotun (Malmo)
  • DM: Adan Balbin (Universitario de Deportes)
  • DM: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord)
  • RM: Edison Flores (Universitario de Deportes)
  • AM: Cristian Benavente (Charleroi)
  • LM: Christian Cueva (Toluca)
  • FW: Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo)

Style of play

The Peruvians play like the cultured, fairly experienced group that they are, but often simply cannot measure up in raw talent to the better opponents. They are their best when they can keep the score low by wearing down their foes with physical play. That's not to say they bunker or behave timid tactically; they just try to pick favorable times to open up.

How they qualified

Automatically qualified as one of 10 South American nations.

Copa America history

The Incas often punch above their weight at this tourney. They have two championships to their credit, but the last one came 41 years ago. Peru have surprised by finishing third in each of the last two Copa America editions. To boot, they have not been knocked out at the group stage since 1995.

Memorable moments

Peru's most famous tourney run ended in dubious fashion, with the extremely controversial 6-0 loss to eventual winners Argentina at the 1978 World Cup. It's often thought that the fix was in to get the hosts to the championship match. There have been a lot of lean times after that suspect match, with Peru now 34 years away from their last World Cup appearance and the last of their two Copa America crowns coming in 1975.

United States vs Peru

Matches US Wins US Losses Draws
Overall 3 2 1
Official Competitions 2 1 0
Friendlies 1 1 1

MLS Connections

There are currently no Peruvians playing in MLS. Of the eight who did in the past, former FC Dallas netminder Raúl Fernández leads his countrymen with 47 league appearances.

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