How the Copa America draw works: Rules, format as 2024 CONMEBOL tournament is set

The 2024 Copa America draw gets underway on Thursday at the James L. Knight Center in Miami. It will be the 48th edition of the competition and Lionel Messi’s Argentina are the defending champions. 

Copa America is a prestigious South American men’s soccer tournament. It takes place once every four years, now in line with the European Championships, occurring in even-year summers between the men’s World Cups. The last four editions, however, were played in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021.

Traditionally, it hosts 12 teams, with two additional invitees from other continents, but the tournament will undergo an expansion to 16 teams in 2024.

The regular iteration of the competition is to be held in the United States for the first time. The US did, however, host the commemorative Copa America Centenario back in 2016.

It’s going to be a huge test for both the USMNT and the soccer nation as a whole as they prepare to host the World Cup in 2026. The US could also face up to three teams placed inside FIFA’s top 50 rankings.

MORE: A full breakdown of the 14 cities, venues to host matches in the 2024 Copa America

How does the 2024 Copa America draw work? 

This Thursday, event organisers will conduct the draw for the groups of the tournament. The draw is set to take place at around 7:30 p.m. ET and teams that have qualified for the tournament will discover their groups and opponents. 

The teams are sorted into four pots according to their FIFA ranking. Pot 1 includes Argentina, Brazil, the United States and Mexico, ensuring that each of these teams is allocated to different groups. This is then repeated until four four-team groups are formed, with one team from each pot in each group.

Pot 1 consisted of four pre-drawn teams broken up into the first position in each of the four groups. First were defending champions Argentina, who were pre-selected into Group A and given the opening match of the tournament. To round out Pot 1 is reigning CONCACAF Gold Cup champions Mexico, hosts and defending CONCACAF Nations League champions USA and the next highest-ranked CONMEBOL side, Brazil.

The remaining four pots were arranged by FIFA ranking, with the two yet-to-be-determined CONCACAF playoff winners pre-drawn into Pot 4. Two teams will emerge from the playoffs in March, with Canada facing Trinidad and Tobago while Honduras meet Costa Rica across two legs.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Argentina Uruguay Chile Jamaica
Mexico Colombia Panama Bolivia
USA (host) Ecuador Venezuela Playoff winner
Brazil Peru Paraguay Playoff winner

Copa America 2024 schedule, format

The 2024 Copa America will feature 16 teams drawn into four groups of four teams each. 

The competition will begin on June 20, 2024, with the opening group-stage game taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, featuring defending champions Argentina. The group stage will then run until July 2, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the knockout stage, while third and fourth are eliminated.

The knockout stage will then begin on July 4 with the quarterfinals, with a single-elimination bracket played through to conclusion. A third-place match is arranged for those defeated in the semifinal, contested the day before the final is played on July 14.

Round Dates
Draw Dec. 7, 2023
Group Stage June 20 — July 2, 2024
Quarterfinals July 4-6, 2024
Semifinals July 9-10, 2024
Third Place July 13, 2024
Final July 14, 2024

How to watch 2024 Copa America draw

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on December 7, the 2024 Copa America draw will be available to watch on FS1 in the United States. That channel, along with many others that own broadcast rights to major football competitions around the globe, is available to stream on Fubo. It can also be streamed on the Fox Sports app.

Copa America 2024 host cities, venues

Fourteen venues were chosen to host matches in the 2024 Copa America. The final will be held on July 14, 2024 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, while the tournament’s opening match will be staged in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The United States will play its three group matches in Dallas (AT&T Stadium), Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), and Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), with potential quarterfinals in either Las Vegas or Glendale, and a possible semifinal in Charlotte.

City Venue Capacity Round(s)
Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium 67,767 Final, Group Stage (A, C)
Charlotte, NC Bank of America Stadium 75,000 Semifinals, 3rd Place Match
East Rutherford, NJ MetLife Stadium 82,500 Semifinals, Group Stage (A, C)
Arlington, TX AT&T Stadium 80,000 Quarterfinals, Group Stage (A,C)
Glendale, AZ State Farm Stadium 63,400 Quarterfinals, Group Stage (B, D)
Las Vegas, NV Allegiant Stadium 65,500 Quarterfinals, Group Stage (B, D)
Houston, TX NRG Stadium 72,200 Quarterfinals, Group Stage (B, D)
Atlanta, GA Mercedes-Benz Stadium* 71,000 Group Stage (A Opener, C)
Inglewood, CA SoFi Stadium 70,000 Group Stage (B, D)
Santa Clara, CA Levi’s Stadium 68,500 Group Stage (B, D)
Kansas City, MO Arrowhead Stadium 76,400 Group Stage (C)
Kansas City, KS Children’s Mercy Park 18,500 Group Stage (A)
Austin, TX Q2 Stadium 20,700 Group Stage (B, D)
Orlando, FL Exploria Stadium 25,500 Group Stage (A, C)
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