US put in deepest four-team group for Copa America – Los Angeles Times

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The first Copa America to be played in the U.S. won’t be an easy one for the host country, which will play in the deepest of the four four-team groups that were drawn Sunday.

The U.S. is paired with two 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists in Colombia and Costa Rica, plus Paraguay, a semifinalist in last year’s Copa America.

But Coach Juergen Klinsmann, who guided the U.S. out of the so-called Group of Death two years ago in Brazil, said he was welcoming the challenge Sunday’s draw presented as well.

“Obviously Colombia is one of the top teams in South America,” he told Univision after the nationally televised draw in New York. “And also Costa Rica, a very strong side. It’s a very difficult group but it’s doable and this is what a Copa America is about. You want to measure yourself with the best teams from South America and also our region.

“So we can’t wait to get it started.”

The Americans will open the tournament against Colombia on June 3 in Santa Clara before going on to play Costa Rica in Chicago four days later. They will conclude group play June 11 in Philadelphia against Paraguay.

Meanwhile Mexico, the top seed in Group C, drew what looks to be one of the easiest groups. El Tri was matched with Uruguay, Jamaica and Venezuela, the latter two having failed to qualify for a World Cup since 1998.

“We are very satisfied with our group,” said new Mexican Coach Juan Carlos Osorio. “It’s a good combination. … It’s going to be a very good challenge for us.”

US put in deepest four-team group for Copa America – Los Angeles Times