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Global Dec 17, 2015

USMNT receives top seed in Group A for Copa America Centenario

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CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – As the host nation of the historic 2016 Copa America Centenario, the U.S. Men’s National Team will be the top seed in Group A of the tournament, it was announced on Thursday by tournament organizers.

The U.S. will open group play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on June 3 before continuing its Copa run in Chicago at Soldier Field on June 7 and Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field on June 11.

+Read: Copa America Centenario final to be held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey

Brazil and Mexico have also been awarded group seeds and will head Groups B and C, respectively, while Argentina, as the highest FIFA-ranked nation in the Americas (per December FIFA rankings), will be seeded at the top of Group D.

The U.S. has experience playing in the Bay Area, having played a total of 20 matches at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Spartan Stadium in San Jose, the Oakland Coliseum, and Candlestick Park in San Francisco, where the MNT defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 in the World Cup Send-Off series on May 27, 2014. Now the team will play at Levi’s Stadium, the 68,000-seat facility which hosted the International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Barcelona and is the site of the 2016 Super Bowl.

+Read: USWNT sends off Abby Wambach in front of record crowd in New Orleans

Soldier Field has been the site of big success for the MNT in tournament play. The last time out, the United States defeated Panama 1-0 in front of a crowd of 57,920 to win the 2013 Gold Cup title. It was the second Gold Cup hoisted by the U.S. at Soldier Field, the team having downed regional rival Mexico in 2007 in front of a capacity crowd of 60,000 to win the CONCACAF trophy that year.

The MNT is an unbeaten 2-0-1 at Lincoln Financial Field. The squad beat Panama 2-1 in the 2009 Gold Cup Quarterfinals, and Turkey by the same scoreline in the final World Cup Send-Off Series match on May 29, 2010, before the team departed for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Most recently, the USA drew 1-1 with Mexico in Jurgen Klinsmann’s debut as head coach.

Recently, the LOC announced the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas that have been selected to host matches during the Copa America Centenario, with MetLife Stadium to serve as the host of the Copa America Centenario Final on Sunday, June 26 in the New York metropolitan area. Similar to the FIFA World Cup, each venue will host matches on multiple days through the tournament. Most venues will host at least three games.

The 2016 Copa America Centenario is the historic centennial edition of Copa America – the South American championship – and will be staged outside of South America for the first time. The tournament will feature six teams from CONCACAF and all 10 teams from CONMEBOL.