FC Daily: Mexico begin their Copa America quest vs. Uruguay
It's Sunday, June 5, and here's a look at the big stories and what you need to know around the footballing world from FC Daily.
Matches of the day
Group C takes centre stage and with that, two of the favourites to lift the Copa America trophy at MetLife Stadium on June 26 do battle. Mexico take on Uruguay at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (FS1, 8 p.m. ET).
Before that, a tasty warm-up as the other two teams in the group, Jamaica and Venezuela, square off at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois (5 p.m. ET, FS2, Univision).
Three key points
1. Saturday saw three games but only one goal: Paolo Guerrero's 61st-minute goal gave Peru a 1-0 victory over Haiti in Group B. Costa Rica and Paraguay gritted out a messy scoreless draw at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, a result that is of great benefit to the U.S. following Friday's defeat. In the late game, Ecuador saw a late Miller Bolanos goal disallowed in a 0-0 draw with stuttering Brazil. If the pressure wasn't on Selecao boss Dunga heading into this tournament, it certainly is now after their lucky escape. Adding insult to injury for Brazil fans, Saturday's scoreless draw was their first vs. Ecuador since 1993.
2. After a long wait, Mexico's Copa America quest begins in earnest Sunday with a tough game against Uruguay. Boosting El Tri is the news that Luis Suarez will miss the Group C clash, having failed to recover sufficiently from his hamstring injury suffered in the Copa del Rey final on May 22. El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio, meanwhile, has set his team's sights on nothing less than a trip to the final. No pressure, then!
3. Uruguay are, as always, a bit of an unknown quantity when it comes to a tournament like the Copa America. ESPN FC's Andy Mitten talked at length to Uruguayan legend Diego Forlan about La Celeste and their chances of victory in the U.S. this summer. His opinion on Suarez? "Luis has improved as a player. His timing is better now, his confidence is up. He has a different quality from Messi and Neymar."
Player of the day
It has to be Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, doesn't it? This summer is his time to shine and El Tri are a different team with him on the pitch. Need further proof? Look at their 1-0 warm-up win vs. Chile last week. He came on as a 78th minute substitute, the score tied at 0-0, and promptly scored the winning goal with four minutes remaining. Chicharito (43 international goals) is just three shy of tying Jared Borgetti as Mexico's all-time leading scorer.
Stat of the day
Jamaica and Venezuela may disagree, but SPI doesn't lie: Sunday's clash between Mexico and Uruguay will very much decide Group C. Uruguay have 52.4 percent chance of topping the group while El Tri sit at 39.7 percent. Their chances of advancing are much higher (URU: 85.9 percent, MEX: 80.1 percent). Given that the group winner will likely avoid Argentina in the quarterfinal, they'll both be pushing for a victory in Arizona.