Copa America 2016 Draw Preview: What You Need To Know
Photo: AFP

Copa America 2016 Draw Preview: What You Need To Know

With the draw in New York City happening on Sunday evening at the Manhattan Center, here is a preview of what to expect.

Roberto Rojas

On Sunday night at the Hammerstein Ballroom, 16 teams will be drawn into four groups that will eventually determine who moves closer to becoming the champion of the centennial edition of the oldest international soccer tournament in the world, the Copa America. It's happening in the United States in 2016, so here is a bit to know before Sunday's event.

The Rules 

To celebrate 100 years since the competition's inception, a tournament has been arranged out of sync with the usual four-year cycle that had been in use since 2007.

Instead, four more teams will come, 10 from South America and six from North America, to complete a 16-team tournament in which four groups of four teams will be made. The top two of each group after all six matches have been played in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. Teams will be pulled out of pots one-by-one from each pot to be drawn into the four groups.

The draw pots also determine which place in the group teams in pots 2–4 take (e.g. A2, A3 or A4) to create the match schedule. The top seeds, the United States as hosts, are in Group A, Brazil in Group B, Mexico in Group C, and Argentina in Group D. From there, teams from the remain three pots will be picked at random to make up the remaining 12 spots.

Messi missed the Copa last summer, can he do it again in the United States? Photo: Photo: Miguel Tovar via Getty Images
Lionel Messi missed the Copa last summer, can he do it again in the United States? | Photo: Miguel Tovar via Getty Images

The pots are as follows:

Pot 1: United States, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina

Pot 2: Chile, Colombia, EcuadorUruguay (CONMEBOL higher ranked nations)

Pot 3: Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama (CONCACAF teams)

Pot 4: Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela (CONMEBOL lower ranked nations)

After the top seeds are officially placed into their groups, the draw will move in reverse order from Pot 4 through Pot 2. A team is picked out of one of the team pots, and then a group assignment is picked out of the group seeding pots.

The pot pairings are as followed:

Pot 5 (A1, B1, C1, D1)
Pot 6 (A2, B2, C2, D2)

Pot 7 (A3, B3, C3, D3)
Pot 8 (A4, B4, C4, D4)

The Venues

From there, the 10 venues will know which teams will play at their stadiums across the country. The top four seeds have already their itineraries for the three matches and are as followed:

Group A (United States): vs. A2 (June 3, Santa Clara, Calif), vs. A3 (June 7, Chicago), vs. A4 (June 11, Philadelphia)

Group B (Brazil): vs. B2 (June 4, Pasadena, Calif.), vs. B3 (June 8, Orlando), vs. B4 (June 12, Foxborough, Mass.)

Group C (Mexico): vs. C3 (June 5, Glendale, Ariz.), vs. C3 (June 9, Pasadena, Calif.), vs. C4 (June 13, Houston)

Group D (Argentina): vs.  D2 (June 6, Santa Clara, Calif.), vs. D3 (June 10, Chicago), vs. D4 (June 14, Seattle)

After that, it is simply time to continue with the preparations ahead of the tournament opener on June 3. The draw will be shown live on television in the United States at 8:00PM EST on FS2 and Univision.