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Copa America Centenario pots revealed ahead of Sunday’s draw

Photo by Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports
Photo by Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

Only days separate us from learning the groups for the Copa America Centenario, but we can already begin to formulate ideas as to what they will look like.

The Copa America Centenario Executive Committee announced on Wednesday morning how exactly Sunday’s draw in New York City will work. The random draw will consist of four team pots and four group pots to determine the full schedule for this summer’s tournament.

All 16 participating nations have been divided into groups of four for the team pots, with Pot 1 containing the previously-announced seeded sides, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.

Pots 2, 3, and 4 have been split into one for CONCACAF squads and two for CONMEBOL teams. The two South American pots, 2 and 4, were determined based on the December 2015 FIFA World Rankings.

Here are the four pots:

Pot 1 (Seeded Nations): United States, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
Pot 2 (CONMEBOL – higher ranked nations): Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay
Pot 3 (CONCACAF – qualified nations): Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama
Pot 4 (CONMEBOL – remaining nations): Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela

The Copa America Centenario draw is set to take place on Sunday night at 7:30 pm in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. It will be televised on Univision.

The tournament, which is being played to commemorate the 100th anniversary of CONMEBOL and the Copa America, will be played in the U.S. this summer from June 3-26.


What do you think of the pots? Worried the USMNT is going to get a difficult draw? What would you consider the best and worst draws for the Americans?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Someone please reply**** Does this mean US & MEX will face Brazil & Argentina in the second round if they both finish second and Brazil/Argentina finish first in the groups? I don’t see how the US or MEX beats out anyone from Pot 2 for the group lead. Sponsors must be worried.

    Pot A

    Pot B
    Costa Rica

    Pot C

    Pot D

    My pot predictions are entirely based on how the sponsors can maximize $$$, not actual competition. I don’t actually believe draws take place, we’ll just get to see Pele open up an envelope on Sunday.

    • the KO round games will be (A1vsB2) vs (D1vsC2) & (A2vsB1) vs (D2vsC1)

      … so if one of the seeded teams finishes second you could see your matchups but if “all goes to plan” and the four seeded teams finish first and make the semi-finals it would be USAvsARG and MEXvsBRZ

    • Why don’t you think the US or Mexico could finish ahead of any of the Pot 2 teams? Mexico certainly could and while the USMNT has played like garbage recently, I don’t think it’s beyond the US to beat those teams at home.

  2. So why is this being shown on a spanish speaking channel again?? I think this once again shows how little the beautiful game is viewed in the states. This is the biggest tournament being hosted by the US since the ’94 WC and with the mens and womens professional leagues having grown the way they have, you would think a major tournament such as this and the ensuing crowds it will bring to stadiums across the country that the draw would be available on a english speaking channel. It seems soccer still has a ways to go in this country.

    • Yes, soccer still has a ways to go in this country. But this is a historically south american tournament with 13 of the 16 teams being spanish speaking. Can’t exactly feign anger over broadcasting this one in spanish…

      • It should definitely be broadcast on a Spanish language station. But it should also be on an English language station too in the US.

    • “I think this once again shows how little the beautiful game is viewed in the states.”

      Hasn’t the last two World Cups drawn the largest viewerships from the United States?

      • If you think an increase in viewership correlates to how the game is viewed by Americans then your wrong. Obviously again soccer has grown in this country but all increased viewership shows is that with the continued foreigner imports to the country year to year who followed soccer religiously in their country bring that viewership to the US thus raising viewership. Apples to oranges OS, one has nothing to do with the other!

      • That’s ridiculous. All the people watching the world cup or attending MLS games (none of which was happening 20 years ago) are “foreigner imports”? Absurd.

      • Old School, are you saying that the U.S. had the most World Cup viewers from any other country the last two world cups? If so I am sure that is incorrect. If you are saying viewership within the U.S. has grown the last two World Cup then yes that is correct.

        China and Brazil had more World Cup viewers. The United States large population helps those numbers but the outlook isn’t great yet.

        From pew research before the 2014 World Cup:

        “22% of Americans said they were “especially looking forward to” the World Cup, nearly the same share as when we asked about the 2010 World Cup in January of that year (23%). No other event mentioned in the 2014 survey found fewer people anticipating the event; more than twice as many people (51%) said they were looking forward to this fall’s midterm elections.”

        “A similar share of Americans (28%) said they plan to watch World Cup games this summer, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News survey, which also found that more Americans called soccer “a big bore” (28%) than said it is “exciting” (19%).”

        Let’s be real Slowleftarm, soccer is definitely growing here, but the VAST MAJORITY of Caucasian-Americans, basically the typical White guy that isn’t Latino/Hispanic and has been living in the United States for many generations, doesn’t like or care about soccer.

        The USA vs Ghana 2014 WC game was seen by 11.1 million viewers on ESPN. In the grand scheme of things that is peanuts for what is supposed to be a major-sporting event. And who knows how many of those viewers were English speaking Latinos and recent European migrants!? Don’t forget how huge the immigrant population is in this country.

        The one phenomenon I personally don’t understand is why does the U.S. Women’s National Team get so many viewers, especially relative to USMNT viewers? At the end of the day women’s sports usually aren’t as popular as men’s sports, and women’s soccer is an inferior product. Is it just because the USWNT are the best in the world and the U.S. loves winners?? I guess that is the only explanation but it is hard for me to wrap my head around it.

      • Another example, Los Angeles is a soccer-crazy city! More people play soccer in So-Cal then probably anywhere else in the U.S. But then look at the attendance at Stub Hub for the last two USMNT games that just passed, it was horrible. Same thing happens in many other cities, the USMNT fans are always in the minority.

        What does that tell you? It should tell you that the majority of soccer fans in the USA aren’t USMNT fans, and that is because recent immigrants that still have a strong connection to their immigrant culture are the driving force of the soccer appetite in this country. EPL ratings are bigger than MLS ratings. All the evidence supports what I am saying. No point in denying it.

        There is only one potential cure to all of this, the USMNT has to get really really good and win a World Cup. Maybe, just maybe, the Americanized White people in this country might come-around.

      • Old School, are you saying that the U.S. had the most World Cup viewers from any other country the last two world cups? If so I am sure that is incorrect.

        Neither. It was a question, not a statement. I may be recalling something completely different, too. Perhaps it was the most attended/tickets purchased by any country (other than the host country)?

        I don’t recall, but this statement “I think this once again shows how little the beautiful game is viewed in the states.” just doesn’t seem accurate.

      • Way too pessimistic on the growth of the game here. For one thing, the ” the typical White guy that isn’t Latino/Hispanic and has been living in the United States for many generations” is a shrinking percentage of the US population.

        You had to search long and hard to find soccer on TV 20 years ago. Now there are games on pretty much around the clock. Similarly, you would have to search long and hard to find a professional soccer league in this country. Now there is a 20 team league averaging 20k+ per game (more than the NBA and NHL) playing mostly in SSS, and that number will grow in the coming years.

        I think we should be a little more bullish on the future of the game here.

      • I think maybe the stat OS is thinking of is that there were more US fans who traveled to the last two world cups (or at least to the one in South Africa).

        We have a way to go with TV ratings (although they are falling for all sports except the NFL). I recall seeing that for the 1996 Euro semi-final between England and Germany 37m people in England watched it (out of a population of 47m). Even the Super Bowl doesn’t reach that level of viewership.

      • Slowleftarm, I agree with you that the sport is growing and that we should be optimistic, I just think the growth is happening slower than you probably think.

        I am emphasizing television ratings because that is what is most important to MLS and the USMNT (more so MLS) and its future growth potential. Without a significant jump in tv ratings that salary cap number isn’t going to go up to the levels we all want it to be at.

    • slevyDC… Paraguay is FAR better than Venezuela. and I am not sure who would be easier for the US, Uruguay or Ecuador… Ecuador is very athletic… I would almost rather the US played Uruguay… just make sure the team has bite guards on their necks! Hardest is

  3. FFFFFFFFFFFFF! I finally get the opportunity to see the U.S. play in the prestigious Copa America tournament in Chicago and it is guaranteed to be against a CONCACAF team. Go figure. Here’s to a MEX vs Brazil semifinal so I can price gouge the El Tri fans and get all my money back for these venue passes.

    • I don’t believe that is correct…at least I hope not since I am going to all the Chicago matches. Typically that second pot that has the groups in it contains numbers 2-4 for where they will be placed within each group. I do not believe Pot 3 means they will automatically be in the designated 3 spot for each group.

      • I think Wychijeff is correct. It appears as though “group positions are pre-determined”.

        From the copa site: “As the teams in Pot 4 will be drawn into groups using Pot 8 (group position 4), those from Pot 3 will be sorted using Pot 7 (group position 3), and the nations from Pot 2 will receive their group assignment by pulling a ball from Pot 6 (group position 2). In this way, group positions are pre-determined by the pot from which a nation is drawn, while the group into which each nation from Pots 2, 3 and 4 remains in suspense until its ball is pulled from the corresponding group pot.”

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