2015 Copa America

Brazilian Fred tested positive for banned substance at Copa America


Brazil’s Fred failed a drug test during the 2015 Copa America earlier this summer, testing positive for the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide.

The substance is a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent to hide other possible performance enhancing drugs.

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This new information could explain why after featuring for Brazil in their first two matches of the Copa America, Fred was dropped for the final two matches of the tournament.

The midfielder denied any wrongdoing, and the Brazilian federation has said they are behind the player and will offer him any assistance needed to prove his innocence.

However, this could have further complications outside of Brazil, as Fred featured for his club Shakhtar Donetsk against Fenerbahce earlier this week in a Champions League qualifier.

Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu said UEFA had advised him not to play the Brazilian midfielder, but he still chose to as it was not an official request.

Before the game, UEFA advised us not to include him but we had not received any official documents and this was just a verbal recommendation.

There is no specific statement on this matter for now and we are still waiting for the results of the B sample.

I have talked to the team and the player personally. When the official decision arrives, of course, we will stick to it.

It is very hard to say what really happened. I guess the Brazil team doctor should be responsible for things like that. I do not think a guy who can run 13 kilometers per game needs pills but I will avoid commenting on the issue further until the results of the second test are known.

However, it would be very sad if such a young player is suspended for some time.”

After the match, which ended in a 0-0 draw, Fenerbahce submitted an official protest to UEFA. A ruling will be issued on August 3, as Shakhtar could be punished for using an ineligible player.

Last season, Polish side Legia Warsaw were thrown out of the Champions League after fielding an ineligible player against Celtic in the qualifying rounds.

Cavani to sit two games including World Cup qualifier for post-Jara red card

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It turns out that Edinson Cavani will miss just as many matches as Gonzalo Jara for the unsavory incident between the pair during the Copa America in Chile.

The Uruguayan was given a red card for slapping Jara after the Chilean appeared to intrude on Cavani’s rear end with his finger.

[ MEXICO: Herrera fired | What next? ]

Chile went on to win the match over 10-man Uruguay, and Jara was suspended for three games. That was later lowered to two for his role in the incident, and on Tuesday we learned that Cavani will miss a pair of matches.

That means Cavani will miss Uruguay’s first CONMEBOL qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Bolivia will benefit.

The resulting furor included comments for Jara’s club, Mainz, that they were open to selling him if there was an offer. Jara plans to return to Mainz. Chile, of course, went on to win Copa America.

2015 Copa America: Champions Chile dominate Team of the Tournament


Chile won the highest team honor in South American soccer by claiming the Copa America title over Argentina on Saturday, and now La Roja are taking home some individual awards as well.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Copa America coverage ]

The Copa America announced the Team of the Tournament today, which features five Chileans, three Argentinians, two Peruvians and a lone Colombian.

It was a pretty easy choice at striker, as the tournament’s top scorers Eduardo Vargas and Paolo Guerrero were joined by Lionel Messi for the team’s front line.

[ COPA AMERICA: Top scorer, Best Young Player, Golden Gloves ]

Arturo Vidal and Javier Mascherano, who faced off in the Champions League final and again in the Copa America final, find themselves as midfield partners for this side.

“The Pitbull” Gary Medel centers the back line, while his Chilean teammate and Golden Gloves winner Claudio Bravo stands in goal.

2015 Copa America Team of the Tournament (3-4-3)

Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (Chile)

Defenders: Jeison Murillo (Colombia), Gary Medel (Chile), Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina)

Midfielders: Christian Cueva (Peru), Marcelo Diaz (Chile), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Arturo Vidal (Chile)

Forwards: Eduardo Vargas (Chile), Paolo Guerrero (Peru), Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Javier Mascherano calls Argentina’s Copa America loss “torture”


Javier Mascherano has won every trophy imaginable with Barcelona, but when playing with Argentina, he always seems to finish in second place.

Yesterday’s loss to Chile in penalty kicks marks the third time Mascherano finished runner-up in the Copa America tournament, adding onto Argentina’s extra-time loss to Germany in the World Cup final last summer.

[ RECAP: Chile claims Copa America title ]

At 31-years-old and already with more than 100 caps for Argentina, Mascherano knows he is running out of time to win a trophy for his country. Following the loss against Chile, Mascherano called the defeat “torture.”

Losing is torture, it’s a huge sadness.

We had a good Copa America, we played a final as visitors and were up to it. Again we lacked that quota of luck to win, I really can’t find an explanation.

I’m one of the oldest players in this squad. We have to accept what happened, unfortunately we couldn’t give the fans what we wanted to.

Chile are a very good team but I think we neutralized them, we played the match we wanted to … We had moves to win it and unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The pain is immense and only gets worse.”

On a team known for captain Lionel Messi and other attacking stars, Mascherano has quietly gone about his job as Argentina’s best and most important player. Originally a defensive midfielder, he has shifted to central defense, shutting down the opposition’s best attackers while also controlling the tempo of play for Argentina.

Despite winning two Olympic gold medals for his country, there are few more deserving than Mascherano to win a major trophy.

2015 Copa America awards: Vargas, Guerrero beat Aguero, Vidal to top scorer

Eduardo Vargas, Chile

The 2015 Copa America is in the books — Chile are South American champions for the first time in 99 years — and needless to say, it was a tournament to remember.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Copa America coverage ]

Especially for the following stars who picked up post-tournament honors for standout performances:

Top goalscorer: Eduardo Vargas (Chile) and Paolo Guerrero (Peru) — 4 goals scored

Eduardo Vargas scored the goal of the tournament — his second of two against Peru in the semifinals — to go along with another two in the group stage (vs. Ecuador and Mexico).

Paolo Guerrero did most of his damage in a quarterfinal victory over Bolivia (hat trick) before bagging once more as Chile bowed out to the eventual winners in the semis.

Paolo Guerrero, Peru

Best Young Player: Jeison Murillo (Colombia)

23-year-old Jeison Murillo, who will complete his move to Inter Milan ahead of the 2015-16 season, scored just once this tournament — Colombia’s only goal in four games, the game-winner against Brazil in group game no. 2.

Jeison Murillo, Colombia

Golden Gloves: Claudio Bravo (Chile) — 4 goals conceded

Having conceded just once since the group stage (three goals allowed in a 3-3 draw with Mexico in group game no. 2) while making a pair of stops in the tournament-deciding penalty shootout against Argentina, Claudio Bravo was a no-brainer to take home the award for best goalkeeper.

Claudio Bravo, Chile