By Juan Arango
At 3pm ET at the Teatro Argentino de La Plata, the draw will take place for next year’s continental tournament. This upcoming edition of Copa América will present to us teams with some interesting storylines as well as teams that will be using this tournament as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the World Cup qualifiers that begin just two months later.
The tournament returns to Argentina after last hosting it in 1987. It also marks the return to the country that first hosted this event back in 1916. Argentina is also the country that has hosted this event the most times with nine.
This year’s two invitees are Mexico and Japan. The CONCACAF giants will be making their eighth appearance in this tournament and will have their hands full but would like to continue their success in this tournament. El Trihave appeared in the finals three times and been a semifinalist on two other occasions.
This time the Mexicans will bring an alternate side as their focus will be on the Gold Cup.
Next year’s edition of the CONCACAF tournament will give the winner a spot in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Japan will be returning to the Copa América after having participated in this tournament back in 1999 when it was held in Paraguay. Expect them to have a great crowd following them as three of the biggest Japanese ex-pat colonies are located in South America (São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima).
Brazil will have the chance to win their third consecutive Copa América. They will also look to win the fifth title in the past six editions. This is the biggest test in the Mano Menezes era and he will surely be ready for the challenge.
The hosts, Argentina, are looking to win their first international title since 1993 when they won the Copa América in Ecuador. Coach Sergio Batista already mentioned that he planned on taking a mostly domestic side with five European-based players.
Uruguay come into this tournament with los of new players as well as some oldies that will most likely make this this tournament their swansong. For La Celeste it is also a chance to win a title for the first time since 1995. It is also a chance to break the deadlock with Argentina atop the all-time winners table.
This tournament will also consolidate the Tabárez era as one of the most successfull of all-time in the South American nation. Right now you would have to consider the Charrúas one of the big favorites to win, especially if you base it on their performance in the last World Cup.
This is also a statement tournament for teams like Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru. Paraguay look to be a darkhorse in this tournament under Gerardo Martino. Colombia and Peru would like to give the region a shock and let everyone know that they will be a forced to be reckoned with in the tournament and even in qualifiers.
|Bowl 1||Bowl 2||Bowl 3||Bowl 4|
- Estadio Ciudad de la Plata (La Plata)
- Estadio Antonio Vespuci Liberti (Buenos Aires)
- Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes (Córdoba)
- Estadio Malvinas Argentina (Mendoza)
- Estadio Brigadier Estanislao López (Santa Fe)
- Estadio del Bicentenario (San Juan)
- Estadio 23 de Agosto (Jujuy)
- Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena (Salta)
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