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HomeSportsSoccerWinner of Canada-Trinidad and Tobago playoff to open Copa America against Argentina

Winner of Canada-Trinidad and Tobago playoff to open Copa America against Argentina


Defending champion Argentina opens next year’s Copa America on June 20 in Atlanta against the winner of a Canada-Trinidad and Tobago playoff, and the U.S. starts vs. Bolivia three days later at Arlington, Texas.

Argentina also faces Chile at East Rutherford, New Jersey, on June 25 in a repeat of the 2016 final at MetLife Stadium and closes Group A four days later against Peru at Miami Gardens, Florida, also site of the final on July 14.

The 12th-ranked U.S. opens against the lowest-ranked South American nation in No. 85 Bolivia. then plays No. 41 Panama at Atlanta on June 27 and finishes Group C against 11th-ranked Uruguay at Kansas City, Missouri, on July 1, according to the draw Thursday night. Uruguay was the highest-ranked non-seeded team the U.S. could face in the first round.

“If there’s not pressure, you don’t get diamonds,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said.

The top two teams in each group move on to the quarterfinals. If the U.S. advances, it would meet Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Costa Rica or Honduras. By winning its group, the U.S. might avoid a quarterfinal against the Brazilians.

“You know what’s lurking around the corner in Group D, most likely, so you want to try to finish first,” Berhalter said. “Brazil is one of the favourites to win the tournament, so it’s going to be a real challenge in that next round, so you’d like to play them in the semifinals.”

Brazil heads Group D of the 16-nation tournament and faces the Costa Rica-Honduras playoff winner at Inglewood, California, on June 24, Paraguay at Las Vegas four days later and Colombia at Santa Clara, California, on July 2.

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Both playoff games will be on March 23.

Ecuador was in line to host the Copa America as part of the rotation by South American soccer’s governing body but declined. The event was moved to the U.S. and expanded to include six countries from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Mexico is seeded in Group B and plays Jamaica at Houston on June 22, Venezuela at Inglewood four days later and Ecuador at Glendale, Arizona, on June 30.

Argentina and Uruguay have each won the tournament 15 times and Brazil has nine championships. Led by captain Lionel Messi, Argentina won the 2021 Copa America in Brazil for its first continental title since 1993, then last year captured its third World Cup and first since 1986.

Matches also will be played at Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Kansas City, Kansas; and Orlando, Florida.

Semifinals will be in New Jersey on July 9 and North Carolina the following day. Quarterfinals are at Houston on July 4, Arlington the next day and Glendale and Las Vegas on July 6.

The U.S. hosted the Copa America Centenario in 2016, when Chile beat Argentina on penalty kicks in the final following a 0-0 draw. The Americans defeated Ecuador 2-1 in a quarterfinal, then were eliminated with a 4-0 defeat to Argentina.

Seven of the Copa America stadiums are among the 11 U.S. sites to be used for the 2026 World Cup: Arlington; Atlanta; East Rutherford; Houston; Inglewood; Kansas City, Missouri; and Santa Clara.

The Copa America will use Puma balls following deals with Nike dating to 2004. A Capitan mascot also debuted at the draw.



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