Pots for Copa America 2016 official draw announced

The United States Soccer Federation announced on Wednesday the procedures for the official draw for Copa America Centenario.

The draw, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. EST, will be hosted in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The draw will determine the groups and full schedule for the tournament and will be televised on Univision in the United States.

Per the press release, the draw will be performed with a double-blind system with eight pots. The first four pots, the team pots, will have groups with four nations each. The final four pots, the group pots, will be used to randomly sort the nations, once drawn from the team pots, into the four groups.

Pot 1 will contain the four previously announced seeded teams. The remaining 12 nations — four from CONCACAF and eight from CONMEBOL — will be sorted by confederation into the three remaining pots, one for CONCACAF and two for CONMEBOL. The two pots containing CONMEBOL nations have been divided based on the December 2015 FIFA world rankings, yielding the following:

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 four group pots will contain four positions each, one from each group, as follows:

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 draw will begin with the pulling of the four seeded teams, in order of group, from Pot 1. As each team is drawn, the corresponding ball from Pot 5 will be drawn, and the seeded team will be placed in the respective head position of its pre-determined group; that is, United States (Group A), Brazil (Group B), Mexico (Group C), Argentina (Group D).

Following that, the team pots will be drawn in order, backward from Pot 4 to Pot 2. The teams from Pot 4 will be pulled one by one, and a ball drawn from the corresponding Pot 8 to identify the group in which each nation will be placed.

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 predetermined by the pot from which a nation is drawn, while the group to which each nation from Pots 2, 3 and 4 is assigned remains in suspense until its ball is pulled from the corresponding group ot.

The evening will conclude with the drawing of Pot 2, the highest-seeded CONMEBOL sides, pitting continental giants against one another and revealing the full calendar and all the most noteworthy matchups for this summer’s tournament.

This summer’s Copa America Centenario will honor 100 years of the Copa America tournament when it takes place from June 3-26. It will feature some of the world’s best teams and players, including Lionel Messi, Ricardo KakáDavid Luiz, Neymar da Silva Santos and Clint Dempsey. The tournament’s final will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 26.

Orlando will host three Copa America games this summer at the Orlando Citrus Bowl with Brazil headlining one of the games on June 8. The Citrus Bowl will also host games on June 4 and June 6.

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