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USA to face Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay in Copa America Centenario

CopaAmerica2016Centenario2 (CONCACAF)

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s path through the Copa America Centenario group stages will be a difficult one.

In Sunday night’s Copa draw, the USMNT were drawn with Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay in Group A of this summer’s tournament.

The U.S. will kick off the tournament against Colombia at Levi’s Stadium on June 3. Four days later, the USMNT will return to action against Costa Rica in Chicago before wrapping up the group stages June 11 against Paraguay at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Brazil has been paired with Ecuador, Haiti and Peru in Group B while Mexico will do battle with Uruguay, Jamaica and Venezuela in Group C. Rounding out the field is Group D, which will include Argentina, Chile, Panama and Bolivia.

Following the group stages, the quarterfinal round will take place on June 16-18. Houston and Chicago will then host the semifinals on June 21 and 22, respectively, before the tournament final on June 27 at MetLife Stadium.

Have a closer look at the groups below:

GROUP A: U.S. Men’s National Team, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay

GROUP B: Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, Peru

GROUP C: Mexico, Uruguay, Jamaica, Venezuela

GROUP D: Argentina, Chile, Panama, Bolivia

What do you think of the groups? Expect the USMNT to advance? Which group is the toughest? Which is the easiest?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Going by world football ELO ratings–

    Group A: mean 1789 median 1756 range 226
    Group B: mean 1791 median 1831 range 521
    Group C: mean 1746 median 1742 range 358
    Group D: mean 1809 median 1814 range 403

    That’s without including world football ELO’s 100 point home-field advantage. With that figured in:
    Group A: mean 1814 median 1806 range 226

    So Group A is fairly middle-of-the-pack by this measure.

    Granted, that’s just one way of figuring, but ELO methodologies aren’t bad overall. Frankly, you have to wonder if MEX and one or two CONMEBOL teams wouldn’t also get the 100 point home-field bump in the US.

    • Looking just at the opponents in group stages, using the same rankings and only giving USA the 100pt bump, it looks like we have something like the 8th toughest strength of opposition, relative to our strength.

      Again, FWIW, this is just one way of looking. It does match up fairly closely to what ESPN’s projections are.

  2. The US its not playing well at this moment, and even do we have some talent, we are not using their talent at the right position. We are not even playing as a cohesive team. we would be out, Favorites to pass this group Colombia and Costa Rica.

    • Have you watched costa rica or Colombia recently? All teams have their ups and downs… we are not wrecking it like 2013 right now but sick of this doom and gloom attitude around the USMNT’s fans.. we got this!!

      • i dont’ think it’s ‘doom and gloom” so much as ‘pensive hope’ based on their recent play. ‘we got this’ as much as we had making the concacaf cup final.

  3. Based on recent form, it does not really matter which group the USA is in. They seem destined to struggle against any serious team (that is any team that puts its first 11 out there).
    It is refreshing to read the comments of so many true believers. For some the glass is always half full, if not overflowing. A great way to start the week. But then again I suspect that there were Polish cavalrymen who thought they had a chance against German tanks in 1939.

  4. Seriously people! Costa Rica and Paraguay strike fear into you all?! Colombia is also struggling at the moment and should not be feared.

    This will be a tough but really fun group but hold the Group of Death commentary.. Ghana, Portugal and Germany — that was a group of Death!!

    Betting-wise, we should be the favorite vs all but Colombia, assuming they don’t water down their roster, but all three games will take everything we have.

  5. For the 2014 World Cup, Michael Bradley proclaimed our group to be the group of death because we were in it. He had a point, as we were, at the time, the best team in our weak pot of CONCACAF and Asia. By the same token, it is a difficult group for us, but not a group of death because the US is the weakest of the four seeded teams. With the inconsistency the team has shown, nothing will surprise me…0 points, 9 points or anything in between. I am hoping for a trip to the knockout rounds and hoping to avoid Brazil there, but it will be interesting to see.

  6. i think it’s the most even competively of all the groups and should be exciting in the hex stage. i think Columbia is winnable but CostaRica will be a little tougher as they’re quicker up front and will pose problem for the US defense. if the US defense holds out consistantly for a full 90 minutes every game, we should get 2 wins; worst case one win, two draws.

  7. Inferiority complex is out in full effect. This group is more difficult than some of the others and it’s not certainty the US will go through, but this group is not as difficult as the one at the world cup, especially since we’ll be playing at home.

    Then again, the US has been playing like garbage since the world cup and JK will still be in charge so who knows?

    • Yeah, never mind the fact that they have better players than us, We’re America dang it. That alone makes us automatically better than any other country at anything.

      • Do Costa Rica and Paraguay really have better players than the US? I don’t think so. Colombia sure. But I’m sure you also didn’t think the USMNT would get out of its group in the world cup and you were wrong there.

      • Costa Rica is pretty even. Paraguay definitively has better players. Colombia is at a completely different level. Just because they’re not Americans doesn’t mean they can’t be good.

      • I’d love for you to find where I said non-US players aren’t any good. You’ll be searching a while. Just like when you made up comments I never made about Mexico fans, you’re making stuff up here.

        I don’t think either Costa Rica or Paraguay have better players than us. Not that they are bad sides, they may even be comparable, but it’s not clear cut that they are better like you claim.

  8. Way to early to tell which group is toughest. It will really depend on which teams bring their best players and what kind of form the teams are in. It’s probably fair to say that getting Costa Rica will make for a tougher match than the other teams in that pot, but at this point the US should expect to play for a win against them here at home.

  9. On paper a tougher group than the others, but we were are the weakest of the 4 seeded teams so seems fair. Both Columbia and Costa Rica have had their share of struggles over the last year so we’ll see who can pull it together by then. The U23 playoff with Columbia could have repercussions here as well, no need for Columbia to bring the U23 if they aren’t going to the Olympics and visa versa.

    Costa Rica benefited from Manuas more than any one else in the tournament. The only team to win a match after playing in the sweltering jungle was Portugal against eliminated and fractured Ghana. Certainly Los Ticos should be credited with the shock of beating Uruguay, but they faced Italy and England at much less than their best.

    With still 1/3 of the European season to play and WC qualifying going on there will be injuries and infighting that will determine the quality of all the squads. The US’s group at the time of the WC draw was by far the toughest, with Ronaldo being lame, and Ghana not paying its players that wasn’t the case by the time the teams got to Brazil.

  10. Are people really surprised that some teams are not taking this seriously? A regional tournament being played far away from the founding countries during an off year can’t be anything but a money grab. Think UEFA Championship played in Qatar with Asian teams. How real is that tournament?
    People are so gullible.

    • Um Conmebol was the one that wanted the tournament in the first place, its why they pushed so hard to confirm it amid the corruption issues. So if any South American feels slighted about the US hosting the Centenario they should direct their anger towards their own federations, not fans of soccer.

  11. Yanks will advance. Colombia 1, USA 2. It’s sad that so many people are scared of Costa Rica. Nice team that had a good run in Brazil two years ago but they’re not Germany, Belgium, or Argentina. We should beat them at home. I’ll take our chances against Paraguay at home. I expect the U.S. to advance.

  12. Not to be off topic, but does anyone know what happened to Did they forget to renew the domain? Been down a weeks or so.

  13. I like the draw. Good measure to see where the team is at. Think it should be some people last chance to show if they should be called in or not and if not bring in some of the younger guys starting to prove their worth, and should be a going away party for deuce and jones.

  14. With a number of reports saying that some SA teams are not bringing their “A” squads, does the US go with our best team, or do we go young with an eye towards Russia?

    • I don’t see any situation where we fail to bring out A-squad.

      I acknowledge these South American nations are stacked with talent, even in their youth divisions, but I find it fairly disrespectful if these nations send their u-23’s.

      • Almost as disrespectful as taking a second string team to a Copa América. You know like when the US team took its bench warmers to Copa América 2007.

      • They find it fairly disrespectful that their tournament got whored out to the US. Especially such a symbolic edition.

        They won’t turn down that money, though. Can’t be a whore with morals, right?

      • Rob, why would they find it disrespectful that “their tournament got whored out”, when they are the ones that decided to do it? The FAs from each country wanted this, and Conmebol wanted this. They don’t feel disrespected, they feel happy. $$$

      • I think it’s kind of stupid they’re playing CA two years in a row. If they were going to do this, maybe they shoud’ve just put off last years tournament.

      • More anti-US nonsense from Rob. The tournament is being held here because it is more lucrative here than elsewhere. Simple as that.

        Plus this is an extra edition of the tournament – it’s not like a tournament that would otherwise have been in South America was moved here.

  15. I called the Colombia and Costa Rica matching with us, it’s perfect it. It only ignites the flames of the American spirit, look of what people thought about the USA at the world cup in the group of death and strived. The match ups are tasty or like Ruud says this will be a sexy football group. Perfect. The USA comes out resiliently knocking teams out. This is our country our cup.

  16. I prefer playing Colombia rather than Chile, Uruguay and Ecuador so I saw we lucked out in Pot 2. Of course Haiti was the weakest in pot 3 and yes Costa Rica maybe the toughest one in Pot 3 but we play well against them at home and for Pot 4 I agree Paraguay may have been the toughest team in Pot 4 but they’re not that great. In the end USA has much of a chance to win this group is all about the team wanting it more than the others.

  17. USA yet again with a hill to climb. Going into the draw, the only team that i thought we needed to avoid to make it to the quarters was Costa Rica. Now with both Columbia and Costa Rica in our group, it’s going.

    However, we seem to play better I situations like these, so who knows.

  18. Pretty tough draw, but Colombia has looked like the weakest team from their pot at this point, so we may have lucked out there. Groups B, C, and D all seem like the top 2 shouldn’t have much trouble advancing.

  19. On paper, and from our perspective, we are in the group of death.

    I emphasis our perspective, because I am sure most the Conmebol teams would rank Concacaf like this:

    1. Mexico
    2. Costa Rica
    3. USA
    4. Panama
    5. Jamaica
    6. Haiti

    • I still think any CONMEBOL team would 100% rather face Costa Rica than the US, regardless of our struggles over the past year.

      • I disagree with you. If anything they probably see USA and Costa Rica as even. We have bigger players in stature and better athletes, but Costa Rica plays with the ball on the ground better than us. I can’t predict Klinsmann’s roster, but very recent past shows Costa Rica passes better than USMNT.

      • Sorry, your stats do not mean a thing. Costa Rica got lucky playing an out of form Italy and Uruguay. Uruguay just stunk. They were way out of form beating a lousy Jordan team in a 5th place playoff. They even tied Jordan at home. Costa Rica stunk at the Gold Cup with their full strength side; the US had a joke of a Roster per Klini. I follow Concacaf and Conmebol closely. Costa Rica is not even close to being as good as the US. By the time the Hex runs around, the US will be far better than it is now.

      • Group of Death just means “the toughest perceived group in the competition”. Doesnt have to be something like Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Spain.

      • Even though that is what “group of death” is commonly used to mean by those who are overly prone to drama, it was originally used to mean a group from which a top team would not be able to advance since there were three perceived top teams in a single group. This is a tough group, but no “group of death.” By your definition, every competition would have a group of death, though it should be a fairly rare phenomenon. I do see now that SBI is adopting your definition (like I said, it is the definition used by those overly prone to drama).

      • That fact that you find that hilarious shows me that you haven’t been paying attention the last couple of years.

        USA is traditionally superior to Costa Rica, but not right now.

      • Phil lets review:

        2014 Hex, USA finished first with 22 pts and Costa Rica second with 18 pts, but head to head Costa Rica beat USA 3-1 in Costa Rica and USA won at home in the snow-game 1-0. That one is pretty close.

        2014 World Cup definitely goes to Costa Rica. They played better than the USA and went further, and came out of what turned out to be the tougher group.

        2015 both have bad Gold Cups, but Costa Rica was clearly robbed against Mexico. If they aren’t robbed maybe they win the Gold Cup? USA lost fair and square against Jamaica.

        2015 another head to head matchup in a friendly in New York, Costa Rica wins 1-0.

        Current FIFA Rankings has Costa Rica at 31 and USA at 32.

        But according to you the thought of Costa Rica being considered better than USA right now is LOLL!!!

    • I rather have it this way because if Mexico makes it out of their group they’ll have to face either Argentina or Chile both extremely hard but if we manage a first place in group A we might face Ecuador which is doable. Yes you heard me 1st place! With a win here, a tie there, maybe let it go to goal differential it’s possible but having a direct elimination with a really hard team in the next round in my opinion is worse then having the ability to manage your group and have an easier rival in the next round.

  20. Going to be hard but could have been worse. Could come between US and Costa Rica for a spot, but wouldn’t completely count out Paraguay either. Not sure too much is expected, even as host but hopefully we show some progress.

    • If you add up the Fifa rankings of each group lowest to highest,

      US-113, Brazil-127, Argentina 139, Mexico 165,

      not scientific but gives some idea of the strength of each group.

    • I don’t think so Colombia hasn’t been playing well, Paraguay is beatable and we play better against Costa Rica at home. It all depends on our players’ form come June I say we end up with 7 points a draw with Colombia and we’ll beat Paraguay and Costa Rica

    • Not necessarily. The US is playing the opening game at home at Levi Stadium. There are a bit of Colombians in the Bay Area but mostly in Miami and the East Coast area. Levi will be packed with mostly US fans. Colombia is one of the better South American teams but they are not the same team in the WC. Colombia might also bring some of their younger players to this tournament for experience. The US should beat Costa Rica in Chicago. Chicago will be rocking. And I put my money on the US against Paraguay in Philadelphia, not too many Paraguayans will be pounding down the door down over there. Paraguay might be brining a younger team as well. I think Uruguay, Argentina and Chile are coming with mostly their star star players. It will be interesting to see what personnel Klini brings. Will he go with a mixture of youth and vets? If the U.S. qualifies for the Olympics, which younger players will play in the Olympics or Copa America?

    • Not really. Our group is the hardest of the 4 but by no means a group of death. There were no groups of death in this competition. I don’t even see 1 group you can point to and see 3 bad ass teams with in it. Overall satisfied with the draw and making it out of the A group should be the minimum expectation anything short of this a complete failure. If we come out in first place we might make the final 4 if we avoid Brazil.


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