Every tournament draw show is often criticized for being unnecessarily long and tedious. Whether it’s the World Cup, Copa America, or the Euros, these events try to emphasize their significance by adding unnecessary pomp and ceremony. However, for those watching the recent Copa America draw, the whole affair seemed like a never-ending ordeal. As Tom Petty famously said, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.” Fans just wanted to see the teams and get on with it.
Of course, it’s understandable that these tournaments only come around every four years, so organizers want to make them memorable. They showcase the tournament’s mascot, unveil the official ball, and then finally get to the main event – the team draw. But for many viewers, it’s a case of “move it along, people!” They want to skip the unnecessary fluff and get straight to the action.
In the case of the Copa America draw, fans were left waiting for what felt like an eternity before the plastic balls with the team names were finally revealed. It was a frustrating experience, and many were ready to stick their heads in the oven just five minutes in. The anticipation was palpable, and fans were eager to see who their favorite teams would be facing.
For the US Men’s National Team (USMNT), the draw wasn’t the worst possible outcome, but it could have been better. The fixtures suggest that their fate will likely come down to the third group game against Uruguay. This crucial match will take place in Kansas City in late June, which means scorching temperatures of around 115 to 117 degrees. It’s a challenging scenario for the US, especially considering Uruguay’s recent victories over powerhouses like Brazil and Argentina.
Group C, which the US is a part of, also includes Bolivia and Panama. While it’s not the toughest group, the US will still need to secure all six points from the first two games to have a chance at winning the group and avoiding a matchup against Brazil in the quarter-finals. Making it to the semi-finals and putting up a good fight against Brazil, even in a loss, would be considered a respectable performance for the USMNT.
Looking beyond the draw, there are other concerns about the tournament. The majority of the games will be played in warm-weather cities, with only three matches scheduled above the Mason Dixon line. This decision raises eyebrows, as summer tournaments in hot climates can be physically demanding for players. Additionally, the final will be held in Miami, where the humidity could affect the quality of the game.
Despite these challenges, the Copa America draw has made the tournament feel real for the USMNT. It’s an opportunity for the team to showcase their abilities and make a statement before the 2026 World Cup. The US has a chance to make more noise in this tournament than they have in years, with the potential to replicate the excitement of their performance in the 2009 Confederations Cup.
Now that the draw has been made, fans can start getting excited about the upcoming matches. It’s time to giddy up and support the USMNT as they strive to make their mark on the Copa America stage.