History of Metro at Copa America
De Avila scores vs|
Branco's Brazil, 1991
June 2, 2016
Did you know about Sacha Kljestan playing in Copa America? Let's rephrase that: did you know that Sacha Kljestan PLAYED in Copa America? (The moronic Jurgen Klinsmann never had any intentions to call up the best American midfielder to this year's edition...) Yes, Kljestan was on the US team when they last took part in 2007. So let's go back through the history of Copa America and find all players with Metro ties!
We have to start all the way back in 1983. Back then, the tournament didn't have a single host, as each country hosted games. 21-one-year-old Antony De Avila made his first appearance for Colombia. Oh, El Pitufo, how few today remember your dwarfy prowess! Since we also want to mention Metro coaches, Carlos Alberto Parreira led Brazil to a second-place finish. Four years later, the tournament was staged in a single country (Argentina). El Pitufo helped beat the hosts in the third-place game.
In 1989, the Copa switched to a biannual tournament, which continued through 2001. De Avila returned, and scored against Venezuela. He was joined on the Colombian team by Ruben Dario Hernandez. (Students of Metro history remember that De Avila REPLACED Hernandez on the Metro roster back in 1996.) The tournament was won by host Brazil, who featured a pre-fat Branco. He started every match.
1991 was De Avila's last Copa appearance, and he scored three goals for his country, who finished fourth. His total was matched by Branco, but the Brazilians finished second to Argentina. The 17-year-old Jaime Moreno debuted for Bolivia. Oh, how we loathe counting him as a Metro!
Moreno returned in 1993. So did Parreira, a decade after his first coaching stint. Colombia finished third, this time with Adolfo Valencia, who scored twice, including the only goal in the third-place win over hosts Ecuador. In that game, he faced off against Eduardo Hurtado. El Tanque scored three himself, including one against the United States.
That's right, the US made its first Copa appearance, failing to win a game, and blowing a three-goal lead to Venezuela in the process. Players with Metro ties for the Bora Milutinovic-coached US: Jeff Agoos, Mark Chung, Chris Henderson (scored against Venezuela), Alexi Lalas (scored against Venezuela), Tony Meola, Tab Ramos, Mike Sorber, and Peter Vermes.
The US made its big splash in 1995 in Uruguay, beating Chile 2:1, trouncing Argentina 3:0, and topping Mexico on PKs before finishing fourth. Metro contingent: Marcelo Balboa (five minutes as a Metro, ugh), Brian Bliss, Thomas Dooley, Lalas (scored against Argentina), Ramos, Claudio Reyna, Sorber. Also, Hurtado returned for Ecuador.
Costa Rica replaced the US as a non-CONMEBOL invitee in 1997, and Roy Myers appeared. Two players who would be traded for each other a year later played for Ecuador: Hurtado and Wellington Sanchez (ten minutes as a Metro, ugh). Hosts Bolivia finished second, Moreno scored a goal in the semifinal, but nothing stopped him from being a fat bastard.