Copa America draw: Argentina could open vs. Canada, USMNT gets Uruguay
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The draw for next summer's Copa America was conducted Thursday in Miami, giving all the participating nations insight into their potential paths to one of global soccer's most coveted trophies.
The competition, being held across 14 stadiums in the United States in 2024, will feature CONMEBOL's 10 South American members - as is standard - along with six CONCACAF representatives.
Lionel Messi's Argentina, the reigning World Cup and Copa America champion, will open the tournament on June 20 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Their opponent for the curtain-raiser is yet to be determined, but Canada could feature in the match if it books a berth via a CONCACAF playoff. The Albiceleste, who beat bitter rival Brazil to hoist their most recent Copa crown in 2021, will also meet old continental foe Chile in the group stage of the tournament.
Elsewhere, the United States was handed arguably the toughest single task of the four top-seeded teams, as the Americans were paired with 15-time Copa champion Uruguay in Group C.
"It's a very prestigious tournament," USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter said ahead of the draw. "Some very competitive South American teams on our home soil, so for us it's like a mini World Cup."
Mexico, meanwhile, landed a balanced quartet in Group B.
Brazil, still looking to recover from losing the final at home in 2021 - at the iconic Maracana, no less - will have to navigate tricky encounters against Colombia and Paraguay in Group D.
Here are the groups in full:
|Playoff winner (Canada or Trinidad & Tobago)
|Playoff winner (Costa Rica or Honduras)
The top two nations in each group advance to the quarterfinals, with each group winner being paired with a runner-up in the first knockout round.
The tournament final, which has featured at least one of Brazil or Argentina in each of the last four editions, is slated for July 14 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
How are the playoff spots decided?
The final two tournament berths will go to a pair of CONCACAF invitees.
After failing to qualify directly for the competition via the Nations League like their fellow CONCACAF participants, four sides, including Canada, get a second chance in single-elimination play-in games.
The matchups are as follows:
- Canada vs. Trinidad and Tobago
- Costa Rica vs. Honduras
The games will both take place on March 23, 2024 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. As outlined above, the two victors will already know their allocated tournament group upon qualifying.
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