Top 5 Dark Horses For Copa América 2024

Top 5 Dark Horses for Copa América 2024

April 26, 2024

The Copa América is set to return to the US this year as both CONMEBOL and CONCACAF sides will go head-to-head to determine the best national team in the Western hemisphere.

Lionel Messi and Argentina will headline the tournament not just as reigning Copa champions but also reigning world champions.

However, it’s not just Messi and Co to look out for, as Argentina will have to get past some formidable oppositions to get their hands on another Copa América title. As always, Brazil will be there or thereabouts, while teams such as Uruguay and Colombia will look to spoil the party for the big boys. Add to the mix CONCACAF representatives US and Mexico, and everything points towards an exciting tournament come this summer. 

Also read: Top 5 Dark Horses For Euro 2024


For many years, Uruguay have boasted one of the game’s most formidable strike partnerships in Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani. Now that these two warhorses are in the twilight of their careers, it seems the team already have ready-made replacements at hand to step in their shoes. 

Darwin Núñez is one such asset. Despite criticism regarding his poor finishing, the Liverpool star scored in a 2-0 win over Argentina before adding a brace against Bolivia during the November international break, with Uruguay continuing to tear through the CONMEBOL qualifying stages. As things stand, only Argentina have more points than Uruguay, who are sitting on 13 after six games.

Moreover, young players like Manuel Ugarte and Facundo Pellistri are on their way up, with Federico Valverde and Ronald Araújo giving the team their star-quality spine. Add in the legendary coach Marcelo Bielsa, and you have a team that will have the tactics, skill, and attitude to thwart any opposition.

Uruguay’s path to glory includes the US in the group stages before a potential quarter-final match against either Colombia or Brazil. On current form, Uruguay will be fine with that as they look to claim their place as one of the front-runners in the continental stage. 

United States 

The Copa América will be a massive test for the USMNT’s young crop of talent, especially ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. 

The US showed promising signs at the 2022 World Cup, escaping their group before falling to the Netherlands in the last 16. This Copa América, however, will be their next big chance to show the world what heights they can reach. Winning the CONCACAF Nations League is a good accomplishment, but it’s an accomplishment the US want to outgrow.

There’s no shortage of talent in this side. In fact, the talent here is more than it’s ever been. But the team will need to prove their mettle by going toe-to-toe with some of the world’s best if they want to make a deep run on home soil. They face a relatively comfortable group, with Uruguay providing a good test, before likely facing either Colombia or Brazil in the quarters.


The Mexican national team are currently in a rebuilding phase after their disappointing group-stage exit in Qatar, and that rebuild has already had its ups and downs.

There’s no doubt El Tri have talent, headlined by the likes of Edson Álvarez, Santi Giménez, and, of course, Hirving Lozano, and based on what we know about Mexico, expectations will be sky-high no matter what as they get another crack at the Copa América. 

However, this time, those expectations may seem a bit far-fetched given this might just be the worst Mexico team in a few decades. Their group will be difficult, too, as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Jamaica will all feel like they can take advantage of a Mexico side not at their peak.

That said, Mexico are lucky to avoid the heavy-hitters in the group stage, and given their know-how of navigating major competitions over the years, it’ll be foolish to completely write them off. 


For years, Venezuela have been the bottom fodder of CONMEBOL, but La Vinotinto have had a positive start to their 2026 qualifying cycle. They’ve picked up impressive wins over Paraguay and Chile, both at home, and even earned a credible 1-1 draw in Brazil. 

Venezuela have a good mix of experienced players, with the likes of Salomón Rondón, Josef Martínez, Darwin Machís, and Tomás Rincón to go with in-their-prime stars like Yangel Herrera and Yeferson Soteldo. 

If there was ever a time for Venezuela to make noise on the big stage, this might just be it. A group comprising Mexico, Ecuador, and Jamaica is manageable, and finishing atop that group will be key to avoiding the mighty Argentinians in the quarter-final.


There isn’t much noise around Los Cafeteros this time round. This could partly be down to their path being treacherous, though. A group-stage clash with Brazil will start things off for them before a potential quarter-final match against Uruguay or the US. 

While on paper their prospects look bleak, Colombia have a young generation of stars on the rise, with the likes of Luis Díaz, Luis Sinisterra, Jhon Durán, and Yáser Asprilla all coming into their own in the current set-up. Add in the likes of Davinson Sánchez, Wílmar Barrios, Rafael Santos Borré, Juan Cuadrado, and Yerry Mina and you have a team with the right sort of mix to make a deep run. 

Colombia are currently unbeaten since losing to Argentina in February 2022. Since then, they’ve beaten some quality opponents like Brazil, Japan, Germany, and Spain, thus filling me with belief that they have it in them to upset the apple cart this summer. 

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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