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MetLife Matchup: Uruguay Square up with Bolivia at the Home of Giants/Jets

Thursday, June 27, will feature match 14 of the 2024 Copa America between 15-time champions Uruguay and one-time champions Bolivia. The game will be at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

It's a longstanding rivalry in a tournament full of them (Brazil-Argentina, U.S.-Mexico), so why care? Because two-time European Golden Shoes winner (given to the top scorer in the top European league in a given season) Luis Suarez will be in East Rutherford on Thursday for probably the last time in his career.

Uruguay's all-time leading goal scorer didn't see the field in Uruguay's tournament-opening victory against Panama. Still, he could play against Bolivia when the two teams take the field in the second of three matches played at the home of the New York Giants and Jets during this summer's Copa America.

The rivalry between these two South American countries dates back to 1926. Uruguay, a nation less than half the size of Bolivia, has won the Copa America a record 15 times while Bolivia has won it just once. The all-time head-to-head record between these two national teams also favors Uruguay, with La Celeste owning 32 wins against Bolivia, suffering just eight defeats while seven games have ended in draws (32-8-7).

At Copa America, these teams have met 16 times, with La Celeste taking the lion's share of 14 wins from those matches. Uruguay last won Copa America in 2011, while Bolivia last was crowned champions way back in 1963.

In terms of how each team has fared at recent Copa Americas, Bolivia has had a rough go of it recently. The last time Bolivia advanced to the knockout stages was in 2015 but they ended up losing to Peru 3-1. On the other hand, Uruguay made it to the quarter-finals of the previous Copa America (2021), where they were only outdone in a penalty shootout at the hands of Colombia.

Overall, Uruguay come into this match as heavy favorites. Why? They have won five of their last six meetings with Bolivia with the last one in Copa America going 2-0 in their favor.

However, because Bolivia lost its opening match to the United States, they must win this match in a tough group with the USMNT and Uruguay included to advance to the knockout stages. That makes La Verde the more desperate team, and at big tournaments, anybody can beat everybody on any given day.

Be sure to check out for Uruguay and Bolivia updates!

Anthony Paradiso
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