CARACAS, Venezuela (Wednesday, February 14, 2007) -- The United States men were drawn into Group C with Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay for the 2007 Copa America, a 12-team tournament which will take be competed between June 26 and July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela.
The draw for the South America championship tournament was held tonight at Teatro Teresa Carreño de Caracas.
The U.S. will open against Argentina June 28 at Estadio Jose "Pachencho" Romero in Maracaibo, which will be the venue for the title match and is located in the northeast corner of the country. Next for the Americans will be Paraguay July 2 at Estadio Agustin Tovar "La Carolina" in Barinas.
Three days later, the U.S. concludes group play against Colombia at Estadio Metropolitano de Fútbol de Lara in Barquisimeto.
"I think quite obviously we have been put in a very competitive group," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. "When we decided that we wanted to enter Copa America, we did so with the understanding that we would have excellent games for our players and I know that will be the case."
In the other two groups, host Venezuela heads Group A which includes Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay. Brazil, which saw its four-and-one-half-year hold on the world's top ranking ended today by Italy, is in Group B with Chile, Ecuador and Mexico.
The top two nations from each of the three groups advances to the quarterfinals along with the two third-place finishers with the best records.
The Americans will make their third appearance at Copa America and first in 12 years. In 1995, the U.S. upset defending champion Argentina 3-0 to advance to the quarterfinals where it drew with Mexico 0-0, but advanced on tiebreaking penalty kicks 4-1 en route to fourth place.
Argentina holds a 5-2 advantage in the series with the U.S. with the other American victory coming in 1999 when Joe-Max Moore's strike proved to be the difference in a 1-0 result at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. is 3-8-3 all-time against Colombia in a series that began in 1961 with Colombia taking a 2-0 decision at home in Bogata. The biggest American triumph in the series came in the 1994 World Cup when Earnie Stewart found net with the decisive tally in a 2-1 win. It was the first victory for the U.S. in the World Cup since 1950.
In the last meeting between the nations, the U.S. prevailed 3-0 March 9, 2005, in Fullerton, Calif.
Paraguay is the only team in the tournament against which the U.S. has a winning record (2-0-2). The first meeting between the two countries came during the first World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay and the Americans came out on top 3-0 with Bert Patenaude recording the first hat trick in World Cup history.
Copa America is the second international tournament in which the U.S. will play this summer. The Americans will seek to defend their Gold Cup championship June 6-24 in an event which will be held in several U.S. cities.
"As you know, we have a busy schedule this summer. Copa America follows the Gold Cup, which will be played in the United States," Bradley said. "We have a lot of work to do in terms of putting together rosters, but they are both very, very important events as we go forward with our national team program."
The U.S. is 2-0 in 2007, opening with a 3-1 decision over Denmark January 20 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., followed by a 2-0 shutout of Mexico last Wednesday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.