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Jamaica Takes on Paraguay

Chances are it will be a rude welcome for Jamaica at the Copa America, where the invited team has landed in a rough and tumble Group B that also includes Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

When Jamaica takes on Paraguay at Estadio Regional Calvo y Bascunan in Antofagasta, all eyes will be focused on Jamaican star Darren Mattocks, who will be heavily counted upon if Jamaica is going to advance out of the group stage. The 24-year-old Mattocks, a skilled and inventive dynamo who plays professionally for the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps, must show the way for Jamaica. Still, Jamaica is likely to be overlooked because of the talented teams surrounding it.

The 44th Copa America features 12 teams, 10 of them from CONMEBOL and two other invited teams from CONCACAF – Mexico and now Jamaica. Mexico is a perennial invitee, but Jamaica has taken the second spot that used to belong to the United States and most recently Costa Rica.

Paraguay, going up against Jamaica, is a two-time Copa America champion and was runner-up in 2011. It may be that the best hope to advance for Paraguay, just like for Jamaica, is to be one of the two third-place teams that advance from group play. That issue may be settled when they collide.

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