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Brazil paired with Colombia, Chile lands Mexico in Copa America 2015 draw

BrazilNeymar1-ColombiaFalcao2014Friendly (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

For the second summer in a row, Brazil will meet Colombia in a high-stakes international competition.

The 2015 Copa America conducted their draw for next summer’s tournament on Thursday and paired Brazil with Colombia in Group C. Host nation Chile was paired with Mexico, Ecuador, and Bolivia in Group A, and defending Copa America champions Uruguay were paired with World Cup runners-up Argentina, Paraguay, and Jamaica. The other nations in Group C are Peru and Venezuela.

Chile kicks off the tournament on June 11 in Santiago with a match against Ecuador and the tournament extends through July 4. After three group stage games, the top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinal round of the knockout stage.

Brazil have played Colombia twice in the last five months. The first was a back and forth emotional encounter between the Selecao and Cafeteros in the World Cup quarterfinals, a game that featured a ridiculous 54 fouls as Brazil took Colombia’s rhythm in passing out of the game. Brazil wound up winning, 2-1, to advance, though they lost Neymar to a back injury.

The two nations met again last September in Miami Gardens, Fla., with Brazil taking home a 1-0 victory.

It’s the second straight Copa America paired with Chile for Mexico, though El Tri will want to improve from their performance in 2011, which included three losses and a last place finish in the group. El Tri will have to figure out which players to bring to South America, considering the 2015 Gold Cup begins three days after the Copa America ends.

Mexico last played Chile last September, finishing against Alexis Sanchez’s side with a scoreless draw at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

It’s also fitting that two nations with a rich, shared soccer culture in Argentina and Uruguay will face each other in the group stage. Argentina are looking to recover from their extra time defeat to Germany at the World Cup in Brazil, while Uruguay are at the end of a golden generation, and are hoping to squeeze one last big tournament run out of them to defend their 2011 title.

Uruguay’s FA president Wilmer Valdez has admitted that it will take a “miracle” to have Luis Suarez available for Copa America. Suarez was given a nine-match international suspension from FIFA after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, a suspension that will almost surely keep him out of Copa America.

Here’s the Copa America draw:

Group A: Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia

Group B: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Jamaica

Group C: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

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What do you think of the draw? Excited to see Brazil paired again with Colombia? How do you think Uruguay can fare without Suarez? Do you expect Mexico to contend in Chile?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. the crap team we sent in 2007 is why we haven’t been back. It was widely reported the South American federation was not happy that USSF refused to send their best team:

    “‘We like for the continent’s most important competition to be respected with the best players,’ CONMEBOL general secretary Eduardo Deluca told The Associated Press. He said the USSF decision ‘doesn’t please us.'”

    Which was a bit unfair given our A team just won the Gold Cup shortly before Copa America. Since then USSF just didn’t seem interested and neither did CONMEBOL. It’s that simple. After all, after finishing 4th in ’95 the USSF suddenly decided to decline invitations, “…to participate in the following four Copa America tournaments (’97, ’99, ’01, & ’04).”

    If anything, hopefully 2016 can re-open some doors that were slammed shut after our terrible performance in 2007. 0-3, 8 goals against, 2 for. And maybe USSF has finally realized we should always be participating if possible. We need that level of competition in hostile environments.

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  2. Wait so Suarez is banned? Arent their friendlies in Feb/March/April and hasnt he been playing in some recent matches for Uruguay? Im so confused.

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    • The suspension is for official matches. So Suarez better hope they go all the way or else the suspension will carry over to some qualifying games as well.

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    • Copa America is for CONMEBOL teams, plus usually two CONCACAF teams that they invite out of their desire to be friendly neighbors and to embarrass CONCACAF by showing how pathetic it is compared to CONMEBOL.

      No reason for USMNT to be invited.

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      • Mexico has done pretty well in Copa America. Check it yourself. Yes, USMNT has been embarrassed a couple of times.

      • KGE,

        Your interpretation is unnecessarily negative and the US has been invited a lot:

        “Since 1993, two teams from other confederations, usually from CONCACAF whose members are geographically and culturally close, are also invited. In all, seven different nations have received invitations. Nations receiving invitations are Costa Rica (1997, 2001, 2004, 2011), Honduras (2001), Japan (1999, 2011, 2015), Mexico (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2011), and the United States (1993, 1995, 2007). The United States had been invited every time from 1997 to 2007 but frequently turned down the invitation due to scheduling conflicts with Major League Soccer.

        However, on October 30, 2006, the US Soccer Federation accepted the invitation for participation in the 2007 tournament, ending a 12 year absence. At the 2001 Copa América, Canada was an invitee, but on July 6, 2001 withdrew because of security concerns. At the 2011 Copa América, Japan withdrew, citing difficulties with European clubs in releasing Japanese players following the earthquake.South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL has stated that Japan would be invited to the 2015 Copa América.Spain was invited to the 2011 edition, but according to the Royal Spanish Football Federation, they declined because they did not want to interrupt the Spanish players’ holidays.”

      • GW, lighten up.

        My point, aside from the joke, was that there is no particular reason why the US should be invited; i.e., it’s not a snub if the US is not invited. So what if the US has been invited many times in the past?

  3. So let’s ask the obvious question– how do we think the draw will work for the 2016 Copa America?

    As a guess, I’d say they put the teams into four pots, with the four automatic CONCACAF teams in one pot (so they do not face one another in the group stage), and the CONMEBOL teams allocated across the remaining three pots according to FIFA ranking. The fourth (weakest) pot would be comprised of the two weakest CONMEBOL teams, and the remaining CONCACAF qualifiers (to be determined via 2015 Gold Cup)

    At present, the pots would look something like this

    Pot 1)
    Costa Rica
    Mexico
    USA
    Jamaica

    Pot 2)
    Argentina
    Columbia
    Brazil
    Uruguay

    Pot 3)
    Chile
    Ecuador
    Peru
    Paraguay

    Pot 4 – Remaining CONMEBOL/CONCACAF)
    Venezuela
    Bolivia
    CONCACAF TBD1
    CONCACAF TBD2

    This formula probably minimizes the “Group of Death” factor (the “most challenging” group using FIFA rankings would consist of Costa Rica / Argentina / Chile / Venezuela…. plug in the USA for Costa Rica to see what we might face at worst… the weakest potential group would be Jamaica/Uruguay/Peru/[CONCACAF2])

    Reply

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