Copa America 2015 Team Guide: Bolivia

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2015

Copa America 2015 Team Guide: Bolivia

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Our 2015 Copa America guide continues with a look at one of the least-favoured sides this time, with one-time winners Bolivia little-fancied to make an impression in Chile.

    With 12 teams set to take part over the course of nearly a month, starting June 11, we’re assessing the key individuals, the historical relevance of each nation at the finals and plenty more besides.

    Check out the previous teams covered:
    Chile
    Mexico
    Ecuador

Squad

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Bolivia named their full squad for the tournament on June 1, leaving out forward Gustavo Pinedo but naming the fit-again Marcelo Martins Moreno. FourFourTwo had the lowdown on the full selected 23.

    Goalkeepers: Jose Penarrieta (Oriente Petrolero), Romel Quinonez (Bolivar), Hugo Suarez (Blooming)

    Defenders: Marvin Bejarano (Oriente Petrolero), Cristian Coimbra (Blooming), Ronald Eguino (Bolivar), Miguel Hurtado (Blooming), Leonel Morales (Blooming), Ronald Raldes (Oriente Petrolero), Edemir Rodriguez (Bolivar), Edward Zenteno (Wilstermann)

    Midfielders: Danny Bejarano (Oriente Petrolero), Jhasmani Campos (Bolivar), Alejandro Chumacero (The Strongest), Pablo Escobar (The Strongest), Sebastian Gamarra (AC Milan), Damian Lizio (O'Higgins), Damir Miranda (Bolivar), Martin Smedberg (IFK Goteborg), Walter Veizaga (The Strongest)

    Forwards: Marcelo Martins Moreno (Changchun Yatai), Ricardo Pedriel (Mersin Idmanyurdu), Alcides Pena (Oriente Petrolero).

Manager Profile

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    Mauricio Soria as a player.
    Mauricio Soria as a player.David Cannon/Getty Images

    Mauricio Soria is the current manager of Bolivia, having also been the national team goalkeeper for a spell in the late 90s and early 2000s, winning more than 20 caps.

    Per La Razon (via ca2015.com), Soria has an idea of how he wants the side to play, though has not yet had a fixture to implement those plans. “I want to give attacking football, with ball possession, I want my team to try to get to the opposite goal and not defend as much as it has done in the past, because we have lost too much. You have to try to attack if you want to win.”

    He only took over in March but seems to have belief that he can help a nation who has not won outside of La Paz since 1993 turn things around.

Star Player

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    Juan Karita/Associated Press

    Marcelo Martins Moreno is the biggest name in the squad, with the forward having played for the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk, Gremio, Cruzeiro and briefly, Wigan Athletic. However, he is well out of form for his national team; in fact, when Bolivia play their opening group game on June 12 it will be exactly two years and one day since his last international goal.

    That said, he’s still the most prolific by far in the current national setup, with a dozen goals to his name at this level, and has three in his last three games at club level in the Chinese Super League.

    Simply winning a game would be a step forward for Bolivia at this point and to do that they need their main striker to play well and find the back of the net once more.

One to Watch

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Juan Arango (@juang_arango) tips Alejandro Chumacero to be one to watch for us, with the holding midfielder having rejoined the wonderfully named home-nation club The Strongest, the club for whom he made his senior debut at 15.

    Chumacero spent some time away in Brazil with Sport Recife without making too much of an impact, but the volante has since figured in the Copa Libertadores for The Strongest and could be one of the central figures to help Bolivia upset a few opponents.

Tournament Record

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    Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press

    Bolivia’s Copa America record is pretty shambolic; just twice in the last 14 editions of the tournament have they managed to progress past the first round and they haven’t won a single game at the Copa since losing in the 1997 final.

    Winners: One (1963)
    Runners-up: One (1997)
    Last four: Two

    Most recent finishes: 

    2011: Group stage
    2007: Group stage
    2004: Group stage
    2001: Group stage
    1999: Group stage

Fixtures

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    12 June, 8:30 p.m. (CLT)—Estadio Sausalito, Vina del Mar
    Mexico vs. Bolivia

    15 June, 6:00 p.m. (CLT)—Estadio Elias Figueroa, Valparaiso
    Ecuador vs. Bolivia

    19 June, 8:30 p.m. (CLT)—Estadio Nacional, Santiago
    Chile vs. Bolivia

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