Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior 2013 - Preview

The 44th edition of the Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior begins on January 4, 2013. One of the largest junior tournaments in the world, The competition will feature 100 clubs separated into 25 groups. Globally recognized clubs, such as Corinthians and Flamengo, are placed in with clubs few outside of their home state would know. Given the size and diversity of Brazil, both geographically and population-wise, it should not surprise anyone to know that upsets happen regularly. This year’s tournament should be no different.

Eligible players for the 2013 tournament are those with birth years, 1993-97. This will make this year's tournament an Under-19 (The Sao Paulo federation uses 2012 as the reference year for this tournament) competition rather than an Under-18 tournament like the previous few years. This change is likely to make this tournament even more unpredictable because many of the elite players born in 1993 will already be playing at the senior level and individual clubs will need to decide if those players will be involved or not. It is certain that decisions will vary.

Identifying the favourites in this tournament is especially difficult, but most lists would start with the teams representing the 15 or so biggest clubs in Brazil. Still, tournament history teaches us that winners are not always from this group of big clubs. In fact, eight of the last 20 winners do not sit among the CBF's current top 20 clubs.

The fact that some of Brazil's best recognized developers of talent have not been that successful shows how difficult this tournament is to win. Santos (1984) Cruzeiro (2007), and Vasco da Gama (1992) have only won this tournament once and Gremio-RS and Botafogo-RJ have yet to win.

In any year, the winner needs a combination of talent, depth, and luck. To win the tournament, the team must play eight games in three weeks where the last five games must be won. Any team making it out of the group phase to participate in the 32-team knock out phase has to be considered dangerous in a one game knock-out. Of these teams, half are likely capable of winning the tournament if things go their way.

While every group has a seeded favourite, there are some groups that could prove to be extremely dangerous for the seeded teams of big clubs. Among the more interesting are:

Group H – Audax, Bahia, Criciuma, Botafogo of Paraiba: Audax are one of best academies in the state of Sao Paulo and Bahia are regularly strong at the youth level. Add Criciuma into the mix and there could be some surprises. Botafogo are the unknown in this group. .

Group K – Vasco da Gama, Comercial, Botafogo of Ribeirao Preto, Paysandu: Vasco da Gama should have the strongest team in this group but could very easily get upset. With group based in Ribeirao Preto, both Botafogo and Comercial are in their home city and both have had strong teams in the past. Paysandu also cannot be taken lightly.

Group R - Desportivo Brasil, Avai, Atletico Goianiense, America Natal: This group is very evenly balanced but the slight favourite has to be Desportivo Brasil. Their striker, Bruno Gomes, should be one of the top players in the tournament. But any slip up could create upsets.

Group W – Internacional, Gremio Esportivo Osasco, Paulista, Nacional-AM: While Nacional are not likely to cause much trouble for Internacional, Gremio Osasco are a battle-tested academy club and Paulista are a former winner and a noted giant killer.

 

Other Storylines to Watch as They Develop:

 

Be Wary of the Academy Clubs

These are clubs that have over-sized academies relative to the performance of their senior team, there are a number of them in this tournament with the potential to surprise. The most recognized outside of Brazil would be Desportivo Brasil because of its partnership with Manchester United. There are also several others who could be dangerous. Some names to watch in this tournament would be Audax, Red Bull Brasil, Gremio Esportivo Osasco, and Comercial of Ribeirao Preto. While Comercial is a long established club in Ribeirao Preto, it is included here because of its merger with another academy club called Ole Brasil.

All of these clubs are capable of disrupting the hopes of the big clubs. Desportivo Brasil may not be a favourite to win; but, few who know the youth systems in the State of Sao Paulo would be surprised if they did.

Surprises out of the Interior

Most of the time, clubs from the western and interior States of Brazil tend to fall in the group stage. But every so often, there is one that shocks. Rondonopolis from Mato Groso surprised a few teams in 2012, for example.

Reinforced Sao Paulo clubs

It is very common for Sao Paulo clubs to sign a number of reinforcements just prior to September's deadline. Small and mid-sized Sao Paulo clubs normally have strong teams already. Adding five or six reinforcements specifically for the this tournament can result in some surprises. Those in the greater Sao Paulo area are most dangerous. Teams from clubs like Taubate, Santo Andre, Gremio Barueri, Flamengo-SP, Juventus, and Nacional are likely reinforced from their last appearances and can shock even the best clubs.

The emergence of unknown players

There is always an expectation of great things from players of the big Serie A clubs; but occasionally surprises appear. For example in 2000, Juventus of Sao Paulo defeated Santos and Internacional on their way to the final, only to lose to Sao Paulo FC. That team had two starting centre backs named Alex and Luisão.

Filipe (now with Atletico Madrid) and Andre Santos played together with Figueirense in the 2003 edition of the tournament. In 2007, Wellington Silva (now at Flamengo) played the right back position with Everton Pascoa (currently Santos) in the middle and Juninho (now with Palmeiras) as left back wearing the shirt of Juventus (the team was actually supplied by Pao de Acucar EC).

More recently, others who made their first appearances with lesser known clubs in this tournament include former Brazil Under 20 stars Danilo (with America-MG) and Willian Jose (with Gremio Barueri) in 2009.

Who will appear with lesser known teams in 2013?

The Canadian Coach

Possibly one of the most unusual stories of this year's Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior has to be the story of Desportivo Brasil coach, Marc dos Santos.

Marc dos Santos is a Canadian, born in Montreal. His soccer development as a player, like many Canadian players, led him to Europe and elsewhere. Early on, he understood that his future as a player would be difficult and moved into coaching. At 26, he began his studies to become a coach. His early coaching education included working in internships at Porto under coaches including Jose Mourinho and he completed his UEFA “A” License through the Irish Football Association prior to going to Brazil. His first success as a head coach came in 2007 with a lower level cup title with the Trois Rivieres Attak and he then won the USL league title (North American second division after MLS but no promotion system) in 2009 with the Montreal Impact.

Dos Santos resigned from the Montreal Impact in 2011 and came to Brazil after an introduction to Roque Junior by Cesar Sampaio and an invitation from Roque Junior to coach Primeira Camisa’s entry into the 2012 edition of the Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior. Primeira Camisa surprised many by making it to the final sixteen where they lost to the eventual champion, Corinthians.

With that success, Cesar Sampaio brought him to Palmeiras to coach their under-15 team in February. While at Palmeiras, its under-15 team succeeded in winning the Copa do Brasil Sub-15 championship in July. It was this success that prompted Desportivo Brasil to hire dos Santos to be their Technical Director and their coach for the 2013 edition of the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Junior.

At the young age of 35 and with trophies in two countries, he has already caught the attention of some in the press in Brazil. Some because of the novelty but, others, watching his success and emphasizing his Portuguese experiences, have suggested that he might be the next Andre Villas-Boas.

Should Desportivo Brasil exceed expectations in this tournament, this story will likely become more widely reported. If they should win, who knows?

 

Art Zantinge can be found on Twitter - @azantinge and get updates from the tournament via Sambafoot and our Facebook group.

 



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Latest News.

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October 31, 2014
13:42Liverpool have the squad to cope - Lucas Leiva
13:30'Amazing' Dunga has started well - Parreira
12:20Neymar laughs off new girlfriend reports
11:58Pato not ready to be considered for Sao Paulo - Doctor
11:20Let's win it - Rogerio Ceni calls for Sao Paulo to win Copa Sudamericana
October 30, 2014
23:55Brazilian Cup Round-up: Flamengo strike late to seal first leg advantage
23:22Dodo puts in strong display as Internazionale win
22:50Liverpool's Coutinho shares romantic moment
18:22Atlético de Madrid defender Diego Godín disappointed Miranda, Filipe Luís and Diego Costa were overlooked at LFP awards
17:34Forward Óscar Muñoz unhappy with defender Marcelo's celebration after scoring in Real Madrid's 4-1 Copa del Rey victory over Cornellà
17:10Milan defender Alex accepts Cagliari draw and looks ahead to Sunday's tie against Palermo
17:01Milan defender Alex confident of top three challenge
12:22Fernandinho has night to forget as Manchester City are dumped out of League Cup
12:11Marcelo on scoresheet as Real Madrid cruise past Cornella
11:54We won't play to defend first-leg lead vows Luxemburgo
11:14Chicao warns Flamengo against complacency after first-leg semi-final win
10:38Report: Arsenal line up January move for Romulo
October 29, 2014
23:15Brazilian Cup Preview: Cruzeiro face Santos
22:52Bolívar stresses importance of coach Mancini to Botafogo
21:17Portuguesa relegated after another defeat
20:24Costa and Ramires set to return for Chelsea
18:58Internazionale midfielder Hernanes wary of Sampdoria threat and refuses to be compared to Siniša Mihajlović
18:49Elano praises Chennaiyin FC fans and hails teams togetherness
18:43Elano pleased to assist team-mates Jeje Lalpekhlua and Stiven Mendoza in Chennaiyin FC's 5-1 win over Mumbai City FC.
16:57FIFA President Sepp Blatter claims Russia's 2018 World Cup preparations are "considerably ahead of schedule" compared to Brazil
14:52Neymar and Messi set to miss game Espanyol
13:18"We don't talk about the 7-1 anymore in the dressing room"
12:52Santos sign deal with Huawei from China
12:24Neymar gains 5lbs of muscle to help him succeed at Barcelona
11:51Assist King Michel Bastos just happy to contribute to Sao Paulo
11:15Lyon legend Juninho backs Doria for Marseille success
10:42Khaznadar's Santos bid compromised by Neymar friendship - Leite
10:07Chelsea reportedly line up move for Cruzeiro's Lucas Silva
00:05Bielsa explains Doria absence
October 28, 2014
22:39Le Havre rule out Adriano deal
22:18Sporting eye Grêmio defender Geromel
19:36Cavalieri set to leave Fluminense after contract leak
18:54Assistant Manager Vivek Nagul insists Chennayin FC are not solely reliant on Brazilian midfielder Elano
18:36Milan defender Alex: “PSG wanted to sign a younger player than me"
18:23Defender Alex admits he misses Paris but has no regrets over Milan move
18:15Hernanes confident Internazionale will be develop their own style
18:10Hernanes hails Internazionale owner Erick Thohir and criticises Italian press
14:58Barcelona coach Luis Enrique defends Douglas from critics
14:16Rafinha gets award at FC Barcelona
14:04Harry Redknapp praises Sandro after Aston Villa game
12:01Everton Ribeiro urges focus as Cruzeiro close in on league and cup double
11:30Brasilerao: Sao Paulo close gap on Cruzeiro to five points
11:29Danilo voted best player of the year at FC Porto
11:23Alexandre Gallo emphasizes good relationship with Dunga
10:56Barcelona's Neymar the only Brazil star on 23-man Ballon d'Or shortlist
October 29, 2014
16:57FIFA President Sepp Blatter claims Russia's 2018 World Cup preparations are "considerably ahead of schedule" compared to Brazil
October 24, 2014
14:13Kaká confident he can help Brazil over the short-term
October 23, 2014
23:14Head Coach Dunga refuses to confirm whether Neymar or Thiago Silva will captain Brazil
23:10Brazil Head Coach Dunga hopes Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano can help "create an alternative approach"
October 21, 2014
21:161994 World Cup winning Head Coach Carlos Alberto Perreira believes Brazil must regain their identity
October 20, 2014
23:09 José Mourinho praises Dunga despite frustration over lack of communication with international managers
October 18, 2014
21:55Carlos Alberto Parreira: Dunga's "been doing a good job"
October 16, 2014
17:18Dunga’s Most Important Players
October 15, 2014
16:24Santos forward Robinho: Brazil want to "win the World Cup in Russia"
12:26Brazil forward Neymar reveals Head Coach Dunga's advice after 4-0 friendly win over Japan
October 14, 2014
22:43CSKA Moscow defender Mário Fernandes hopes he "pleased Dunga" with Brazil debut
22:38Brazil goalkeeper Jefferson pleased late save against Japan kept clean sheet run intact
22:32Brazil goalkeeper Jefferson: "It is good to see Dunga’s philosophy is working for us"
18:09Neymar admits four goal haul against Japan "gives me goosebumps"
18:03Neymar not concerned about Brazil goal tally
13:59Brazil destroy Japan thanks to a fantastic Neymar
08:46Brazil-Japan (National Stadium, Singapore): Preview
October 13, 2014
15:57Internazionale defender Yuto Nagatomo insists Japan must play as a team against Brazil
15:52Japan Head Coach Javier Aguirre "relaxed" ahead of Brazil friendly
15:45Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirms David Luiz is a doubt for Japan friendly
15:41Mainz 05 forward Shinji Okazaki insists Japan must be clinical if they are to get a result from Brazil friendly
October 12, 2014
22:38Neymar unconcerned with physical approach during Brazil's 2-0 win over Argentian
22:34Brazil Head Coach Dunga insists Argentina win "gives huge confidence to the players"
13:14Brazil goalkeeper Jefferson: “I have studied the way Lionel Messi takes penalties"
13:09Atlético Mineiro Diego Tardelli admits its "a unique feeling" to score for Brazil after Argentina brace
11:10Brazil Head Coach Dunga questions appointment of referee Fan Qi for Argentina friendly
October 11, 2014
17:29Argentina 0-2 Brazil [Superclásico de las Américas, National Stadium]: Player ratings
16:13Argentina 0-2 Brazil [Superclásico de las Américas, National Stadium]: Diego Tardelli brace earns Seleção prestigious friendly victory
12:08Argentina 0-2 Brazil [Superclásico de las Américas, National Stadium]: Minute by minute
11:59Brazil Head Coach Dunga concerned about effects of Beijing smog on Superclásico de las Américas against Argentina
October 10, 2014
22:38Neymar hails Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi ahead of 2014 Superclásico de las Américas
16:182014 Superclásico de las Américas: Argentina vs. Brazil preview
October 09, 2014
22:50Danilo and Elias expected to start for Brazil in Saturday's 2014 Superclásico de las Américas against Argentina
22:45Brazil Olympic squad line up announced for Bolivia friendly
22:35Corinthians defender Gil believes Seleção team-mate Neymar is better than Lionel Messi
22:13Sambafoot is recruiting!
20:55Japan recall Kagawa for Brazil clash
October 08, 2014
12:11Sebastian Coe doubts a men's Great British football team will compete at 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
October 07, 2014
23:28CBF announce Brazil friendlies against Austria and Turkey in November
23:09Report: Brazil Head Coach Dunga monitoring Guangzhou Evergrande forward Elkeson
22:45Paris Saint-Germain defender Maxwell hints this could be his last season
October 06, 2014
16:34Kaká: “I see A Seleção Brasileira as a reward"
12:16Kaká wants Brazil to follow Germany model
October 03, 2014
22:03Internazionale defender Juan Jesus pleased with Brazil recall
21:58Internazionale defender Juan Jesus latest player to be brought into Brazil squad following injury to Marquinhos
17:26São Paulo executive Ataide Gil disappointed to lose Kaká to Brazil
17:12Grêmio goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe brought into Brazil squad for Argentina and Japan friendlies
October 01, 2014
15:54Japan squad named for friendlies against Brazil and Jamaica
September 30, 2014
08:34Brazil drawn in Group B alongside holders Colombia for 2015 U-20 South American Championship
September 24, 2014
22:13Brazilian Football Confederation President José Maria Marin wants Germany rematch
June 26, 2014
14:33Report: Flamengo one of eight clubs who have enquired about loaning Internazionale midfielder Rubén Botta
June 16, 2014
11:35Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari backs Portugal to recovery from heavy Germany defeat
June 09, 2014
23:18Italy forward Lorenzo Insigne insists Italy’s poor defending in victory against Fluminense is “not important”
23:12Italy forward Ciro Immobile “excited” with hat-trick against Fluminense
22:56Italy Head Coach Cesare Prandelli pleased with Fluminense victory
22:52Italy Head Coach Cesare Prandelli delighted with Brazilian support
June 07, 2014
23:32Italy line up confirmed for Fluminense friendly
May 19, 2014
22:13Portugal Manager Paulo Bento names his 23-man 2014 FIFA World Cup squad
May 18, 2014
19:09Sambafoot Sunday: Botafogo's Shaky Start to 2014
April 13, 2014
08:34Sambafoot Sunday: Brazilian Clubs' Libertadores Numbers Game
April 06, 2014
09:20Sambafoot Sunday: Atlético Mineiro's Anelka Interest Should be the Norm
February 14, 2014
12:23Shakhtar Donetsk: President decided to support Maicon’s family
February 09, 2014
09:25Sambafoot Sunday: Where’s Wallyson? Botafogo find their new hero post-Seedorf
January 26, 2014
10:09Sambafoot Sunday: Cruciate curse affects Seleção hopes of three midfielders
December 01, 2013
13:36Sambafoot Sunday: Could Éverton Ribeiro Crack Europe?
November 25, 2013
11:39Brasileirão Week 36 round up: Vasco shock champions to stay in contention while defeat leaves Ponte Preta on the brink
November 24, 2013
10:17Sambafoot Sunday: Palmeiras Promoted with Chapecoense in Tow
November 17, 2013
12:00Palmeiras secure Brasileirão Série B title with 3-0 win against Boa Esporte
November 12, 2013
08:42Relegation threatened Fluminense sack head coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo
November 10, 2013
12:59Sambafoot Sunday: Atlético Paranaense's hurricane season
November 09, 2013
10:05Drummer angers Flamengo fans
November 04, 2013
13:04Brasileirão week 32 round-up: Big win for Vasco as in-form Goiás maintain top four push
November 03, 2013
17:31Sambafoot Sunday: Surprise Packages in the 2013 Brasileirão
October 28, 2013
11:31Brasileirão Week 31 round up: Vital win for Ponte Preta while Goiás maintain top four push
October 21, 2013
13:21Olympique Marseille without defender Lucas Mendes for Napoli fixture
12:12Injury rules Bayern Munich defender Dante out of Viktoria Plzeň tie
October 20, 2013
23:50São Paulo president Juvenal Juvêncio admits interest in Lucas Moura loan return
October 18, 2013
11:47Diego Maradona dispute’s Pelé’s FIFA recognition
09:04Del Bosque: Costa approach no insult to current strikers
October 17, 2013
21:43Hard work is paying off insists Bayern Munich defender Rafinha
13:17Rodrigo Lasmar: Ronaldinho on track to be fit for the Club World Cup
October 16, 2013
19:53Report: Tottenham Hotspur set to offer Paulinho extended deal
09:12Report: São Paulo could terminate Lúcio’s contract if injury concerns prevail
October 13, 2013
18:32Brasileirão: Grêmio slip up as Vitoria and Santos grab victories
14:49Vanderlei Luxemburgo: ‘Simulation part of football’
October 09, 2013
20:37Mineiro learn Club World Cup fate
October 06, 2013
22:39Oswaldo de Oliveira in hospital after Botafogo defeat
11:55Sambafoot Sunday: Cruzeiro cruising at the top of the Brasileirão
October 04, 2013
23:52Internacional manager Dunga sacked
September 14, 2013
14:29Guerrero: Corinthians can still be champions
September 11, 2013
20:49Roberto Carlos: Anzhi could collapse
14:57Exeter City play down Brazil fears
September 07, 2013
14:12Atlético Madrid's Filipe Luis: Barca-Madrid dominance an injustice
September 06, 2013
19:04Santos announce tour of South East Asia
18:42São Paulo slump to defeat as Rogerio Ceni misses penalty
September 05, 2013
19:17Cruzeiro go four points clear after defeating Bahia
18:43Romário and Maradona fight against CONMEBOL corruption
September 03, 2013
21:29Marcelo Mattos says Botafogo will overcome difficulties
20:54Réver believes Atlético Mineiro can challenge for Brazilian title
September 02, 2013
23:21São Paulo to honour Brazil legend Leonidas da Silva
October 30, 2014
23:55Brazilian Cup Round-up: Flamengo strike late to seal first leg advantage
23:22Dodo puts in strong display as Internazionale win
22:50Liverpool's Coutinho shares romantic moment
18:22Atlético de Madrid defender Diego Godín disappointed Miranda, Filipe Luís and Diego Costa were overlooked at LFP awards
17:34Forward Óscar Muñoz unhappy with defender Marcelo's celebration after scoring in Real Madrid's 4-1 Copa del Rey victory over Cornellà
17:10Milan defender Alex accepts Cagliari draw and looks ahead to Sunday's tie against Palermo
17:01Milan defender Alex confident of top three challenge
October 29, 2014
23:15Brazilian Cup Preview: Cruzeiro face Santos
22:52Bolívar stresses importance of coach Mancini to Botafogo
21:17Portuguesa relegated after another defeat
20:24Costa and Ramires set to return for Chelsea
18:58Internazionale midfielder Hernanes wary of Sampdoria threat and refuses to be compared to Siniša Mihajlović
18:49Elano praises Chennaiyin FC fans and hails teams togetherness
18:43Elano pleased to assist team-mates Jeje Lalpekhlua and Stiven Mendoza in Chennaiyin FC's 5-1 win over Mumbai City FC.
00:05Bielsa explains Doria absence
October 28, 2014
22:39Le Havre rule out Adriano deal
22:18Sporting eye Grêmio defender Geromel
19:36Cavalieri set to leave Fluminense after contract leak
18:54Assistant Manager Vivek Nagul insists Chennayin FC are not solely reliant on Brazilian midfielder Elano
18:36Milan defender Alex: “PSG wanted to sign a younger player than me"
18:23Defender Alex admits he misses Paris but has no regrets over Milan move
18:15Hernanes confident Internazionale will be develop their own style
18:10Hernanes hails Internazionale owner Erick Thohir and criticises Italian press
October 27, 2014
23:59FC Goa manager Zico refuses to blame defeat on the absence of Pires
23:31Dante voted best defender in Germany for the third time
22:25Bernard shines as Shakhtar cruise through
21:04Fabio Capello: Neymar attitude 'very annoying'
18:40FC Goa manager Zico disappointed with lack of end product following 2-0 defeat to FC Pune City
18:14Report: Genoa ahead of Lazio, Napoli and Sassuolo in race to sign Corinthians defender Gil
15:48Report: Milan set to target Fluminense defender Marlon
15:37Marcelo pleased with his improved fitness and hopes Real Madrid can keep up their good form
15:29Marcelo wants Real Madrid to enjoy El Clásico victory over Barcelona
October 25, 2014
23:01Filipe Luís does not believe his Chelsea team-mates need "special advice" to cope with Manchester United forward Radamel Falcao
22:53Chelsea defender Filipe Luís hails former team-mate Radamel Falcao ahead of Manchester United clash
15:50FC Goa manager Zico claims midfielder Robert Pirès was punched in the face by Atlético de Kolkata Head Coach Antonio López
15:34Mumbai City manager Peter Reid pleased midfielder André Moritz managed 45 minutes in 2-0 defeat to NorthEast United
15:21Lucas Leiva admits he is open to Liverpool exit and confirms there was contact with Napoli over the summer
October 24, 2014
15:17FC Goa manager Zico unhappy with Atlético de Kolkata defeat
13:06Assistant Toni Grande admits "it was a relief" when Diego Costa finally scored for Spain
12:54Report: Juventus set to target Cruzeiro midfielder Everton Ribeiro in January
October 23, 2014
23:25Report: Milan join race for Cruzeiro midfielder Lucas Silva
17:22Atlético de Madrid defender Guilherme Siqueira hails team-mate Koke after role in Malmö FF victory
15:44Head Coach Dunga names three debutants in Brazil squad to face Turkey and Austria next month
October 22, 2014
22:51Mário Fernandes believes CSKA Moscow's comeback against Manchester City has kept them in the Champions League
17:54David Luiz: “In every game we need to improve"
17:51Lionel Messi: “It is good that Neymar and I are in form together"
11:36Ajax manager Frank de Boer compares Lionel Messi and Neymar to Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale
11:27David Luiz admits Paris Saint-Germain had a "tough match" against APOEL
11:22David Luiz pleased to be back alongside Thiago Silva in Paris Saint-Germain's 1-0 over APEOL
10:03Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano: "It was very special for me to score five times"
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