Good evening everyone. The Copa America Centenario approaches us faster than you can fill your yacht with gas. It’s coming in hot like a toasty foot-pillow lovingly warmed by your butler. It’s looming larger than your trust attorney on April 14th. In other words, it starts soon, and the Real Soccer Expert has all the naughty secret tidbits you’ve been searching for to help you pick the winning teams. This week, we discuss the Stage of Groups.

What is the stage of groups or group stage?

The Stage refers to the Field. The Groups are the clusters of teams which play each other on the field. I’m not quite sure why they feel the need to reference the field directly in the name of this round, but it does give it a certain puffery I’m fond of. There are four Groups playing on the field, A, B, C, and D. Each group has four teams and they all play each other within that group. The top two teams in each of the groups, which play on the stage, move on to the quarterfinals. Ugh that was so boring to dictate to my assistant that I actually  fired him for letting me do it.  Let’s get on to the predictions.

Who will win Group A?

Group A consists of the United States of America, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Paraguay. Isn’t it obvious who is going to win this group? I’ll give you a hint, which team has the most MLS players? USA has 11 of 23 players currently in the MLS, and the other 12 are all considering NYCFC or LA for their next move. This group is really all about who will come in second. Colombia has NOBODY in the MLS. Very questionable strategy. Costa Rica has 5 MLS players, so that’s a very positive sign for them. Paraguay, which I had assumed was a misspelling until recently, has 1 MLS player. You know how you spell the word trouble? P-A-R-A-G-ok nevermind that’s almost as terrible as summering in the wrong Hampton accidentally and all your friends come by on their jetskis and laugh and throw wine at you.

Group winners: USA and Colombia . Despite their lack of MLS loyalty, Colombia gets the nod from the Real SE for their tasty coffee beans and for being the only country named after a university I’ve heard of.

Who will win Group B?

Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, and Peru face off in this battle of the islands plus Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. Brazil is clearly the favorite here, but will be without their star forward Neymar PimpleDream. He has been delegated to the Olympics and will be assisting the river sweeps up to and during the events of swim. Brazil is chock full of beautiful people and many of them will likely be playing for the Copa team. Peru is also a team I favor due to their extremely delicious chicken Embassies stationed throughout our country. High marks to their diplomatic relations team for continued excellence.

Group Winners: Haiti and Ecuador

Who will win Group C?

The Mexicans will face tough competition from Uruguay, Jamaica, and Venezuela in this group chock full of places I don’t want to visit. Last I heard about Jamaica was the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay was purchased by private equity gasbags and turned into a touristy family friendly cesspool of no-table-cloth by the pool hackneyed continental themed restaurants. No thank you! I’ll take my weekend jaunts elsewhere. Mexico has its bright spots, what with their main offensive weapon, Javi HernandoPea, playing in Germany this past season like his pet monkey had been taken and the ransom was highlight worthy goals. Uruguay on the other hand, as I’ve been reading up on, is known for their biting? Not sure I understand this one but apparently their best player relies upon denture strength. Good on him as the first thing I look upon when introduced to a fellow captain of industry is his or hers frontal toothy region. 

Group Winners: Uruguay simply because I’m curious. Mexico because if they don’t win I will have to cancel the mariachi band I’ve hired for the month of July. There is no worse investment option for long term joy than a saddened mariachi man. 

Who is going to win Group D?

Argentina, Chile, Panama, Bolivia go face to face in this battle for the Group of Debt Delinquents. Argentina is obviously the favorite, being the home of Mr. Messi (who is also a troublesome financial rapscallian). But Chile, a dazzling magical land of short men in shorter shorts who ride llamas to games and throw cautions to the wind, may be my favorite team in the tournament. Have these people heard of gold flakes in their mustard to give their hotdogs a luxurious flourish? No! Of course they haven’t they are a people of mining and mountain climbing background. Do they have a coffee lounge in their helicopters? Yes. Because everyone does. Trick question! 

Group winners: Chile, because it’s a beautiful country filled with excellent soccer millionaires who love riding their llamacopters to the games. Argentina, while supposedly good at soccer, my pick is due to their willingness to finally renegotiate their debts and restart their fickle economy. My bankers and I thank you!

I’m a bit tired from all my research but if you must know more please reach out to my PR assistant, Blimpgrovel, who will see to it your questions are promptly answered. Toodaloo!

-Real SE