The 2015 Copa America begins on Thursday afternoon, as hosts Chile take on Ecuador in Santiago. There's a fair amount of pressure on Chile, who have a pretty good team that has never won any trophy, hosting the tournament at home, while Ecuador are perceived to be one of the weaker teams at the tournament, coming off a disappointing World Cup in South America last year, going through a regeneration process under new coach Gustavo Quinteros, and missing best player Antonio Valencia.
But wait! A former Chivas USA player, Miller Bolanos, has made the squad and could even get a starting role at the Copa America. Bolanos showed moments of brilliance in MLS, but his team's absolute mismanagement and constant drama during the time he was with Chivas stunted any chance he had to become a breakout star, and he went back to Ecuador to find stability, subsequently playing very well for Emelec since his return in 2013.
So this could be a pretty interesting tournament for Bolanos, if he gets some time on the field and plays well. Every South American player probably thinks they can be the breakout star at the Copa America, but Bolanos could be a real dark horse, especially against the likes of Bolivia and a not-great Mexico squad in their group.
But first, they will have to go through the hosts. Opening games of tournaments tend to be tense and not beautiful, which could benefit Ecuador. But we'll have to wait and see how it shakes out - maybe Miller Time is on the horizon.
How to watch: Broadcast begins at 4:20 pm PT on Thursday. All games for the Copa America will be aired in the United States on beIn Sports and beIn Sports Español.
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