With its first two Copa America games under its belt, Colombia became the first nation in this year’s tournament to advance beyond the group stage. The mighty South American team opened the Centenario competition with a 2-0 victory against the U.S. Men’s National Team on June 3rd before clinching a 2-1 win over Paraguay on Tuesday. Colombia will finish out the group stage with its June 11th match against Costa Rica before moving on to the quarter-finals next week.
A Colombia native himself, Sporting Kansas City’s Jimmy Medranda grew up watching his national team play. Though he was only able to see one game in person, he said he watched every single match on TV and continues to follow the team closely.
“It’s my nation. It’s my team,” he said. “I always want to watch, and if Colombia wins I am so excited, especially at the most important tournament in our region.”
The 22-year-old said it has been especially fun watching the team do so well in Copa America this year, since the tournament represents the best of the best in North and South America. Center back Jeison Murillo and midfielder Edwin Cardon are among some of Medranda's favorite players.
“It’s been fun to watch Colombia play these last two games,” he said. “The first half of the second game was very, very good, but the second half was a little bit more difficult, so winning that was important. They have a good team and they have played very well. If they continue to play like they have, I think they could win the whole tournament.”
For a full tournament schedule, check out SportingKC.com/Copa.