Copa America Centenario edition starts on Friday with an opening match between the United States and Colombia. 16 teams from the Americas will gather for the tournament that ends on Sunday, June 26. The United States is the host country, 100 years after the first tournament in Argentina.

The U.S. vs Colombia soccer match will take place on Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET, at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The event can be watched on TV channels FS1 and Univision Sports. Fox Soccer2Go and Fox Sports Go will also stream the tournament.

Copa America Centenario edition starts on Friday with an opening match between the United States and Colombia. Photo credit: World Soccer Talk
Copa America Centenario edition starts on Friday with an opening match between the United States and Colombia. Photo credit: World Soccer Talk

David Neal, FIFA World Cup Executive Producer at Fox Sports, said that the TV network will televise all 32 matches. It is the first time ever that the United States hosts the Copa America. The U.S. soccer team plays against Costa Rica on Tuesday, June 7 at 8 p.m. ET in Chicago.

“Copa America Centenario promises to be a spectacular showcase for soccer in the United States. We expect viewers to be riveted by the most important men’s soccer event on U.S. soil in 22 years. It will be a seminal moment for the sport and for soccer fans in the United States,” said Neal.

Tournament’s schedule for next week: 32 matches will be held across 10 U.S. cities

Costa Rica and Paraguay will play on June 4 at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, at 5 p.m. ET.  Brazil and Ecuador will confront during the same day, at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena California at 10 p.m. ET.

Brazil’s squad is composed by recognized goalkeepers Alisson, and Diego Alves. Other remarkable players include Dani Alves from Barcelona FC, Fabinho from Monaco, and Filipe Luis, from Atletico Madrid. While Ecuador’s team counts with Enner Valencia, who plays for West Ham United.

A remarkable confrontation between Argentina and Chile is scheduled for Monday, June 6 at 10 p.m. ET. Players Sergio Aguero from Manchester City and Sergio Romero from Manchester United will both play for Argentina.

Chile, which won the 2015 Copa America, comes this year with Charles Aranguiz, who plays for the Bayer Leverkusen. The 27-year-old player is expected to be the team’s star after he has recovered from his injury.

Mexico and Uruguay will compete on Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ at 8 p.m. ET. The Mexican star man Javier Hernandez, former Manchester United striker, is expected to lead the team.

Uruguay, which has 15 championships at the tournament, comes with forwards Edinson Cavani from Paris Saint-Germain, Abel Hernandez from Hull City, and Luis Suarez from Barcelona FC. The latter has already scored 59 goals this season.

Brazil’s star Neymar will skip the Copa America Centenario to participate at the Rio Olympics, while Luis Suárez from Uruguay is only expected to play during final rounds.

Why is there a Copa America tournament in 2016?

The Copa America takes place every four years, as the UEFA European Championship, better known as the Euros, or the Olympics. However, organizers created the Copa America Centenario with a different name and format to celebrate a hundred years of the tournament.

Usually, Copa America is disputed by 12 teams from the Americas. Centenario edition comes with the participation of 16 teams, of which 10 belong to The South American Football Confederation and 6 belong to the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football.

Matches will take place in the following U.S. cities: Chicago (Soldier Field), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl), Seattle (CenturyLink Field), East Rutherford (MetLife Stadium), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field).

Phoenix (University of Phoenix), Houston (NRG stadium), Foxborough (Gillette stadium) and Orlando (Citrus Bowl stadium), will also be helding tournaments during the season. Quarter finals begin on June 16, while the final match is scheduled for Sunday, June 26.

Google is celebrating 100 years of the Copa America Games. It will also offer instant information about game scores and schedules.

“Today’s fiery matchup takes place right around the corner from Google headquarters in Mountain View,” added the company.

Copa America Centenario groups

Teams will play three group-stage games, said the New York Times. The top two teams in each group will move to quarterfinals.

Group A: USA, Colombia, Paraguay, Costa Rica.

Group B: Brazil, Peru, Haiti, Ecuador.

Group C: Uruguay, Mexico, Jamaica, Venezuela.

Group D: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Panama.

Colombian player has admitted concern about the Friday game

Colombian player David Ospina has announced its concern for the first game to be held on Friday. He said he is worried about how match officials would react among a sell-out American crowd in California.

“But at the same time, it’s a beautiful party. We wait for everyone to have good intentions. There will be a lot of respect in the soccer field, for the referees to do their job the right way,” Ospina was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

Coach of the Colombian Team, Jose Pekerman, said that soccer  is “in a special moment”, and everyone seeks to be transparent in the field. He explained that Copa America Centenario is a major opportunity to demonstrate that technology and “everything else” is helping soccer.

“We trust in the fairness and we hope that nothing external that will influence the result of a game,”  He added.

Source: The Daily Mail