With the 32-team field officially set, the pots for next summer’s World Cup were determined at a press conference in Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil on Tuesday.
Here’s what you need to know:
The FIFA World Cup 2014 pots are official. pic.twitter.com/roEkcQdmPy
— FOX Soccer Daily (@FOXSoccerDaily) December 3, 2013
1. World Cup Draw Takes Place on December 6th
The 2014 World Cup draw will take place on Friday, December 6th, at 11:30 a.m.
During this phase, the teams are divided into groups, which play a critical role in each country’s path to the World Cup Final. The eight groups are formed by randomly drawing one team from each pot out of a hat.
2. Teams Divided Into 4 Pots of 8 Teams
Each pot initially has eight teams, with the exception of pot 2 (seven teams) and pot 4 (nine teams). When the draw takes place, a European team from pot 4 will be moved into pot 2. That team will then be drawn with one of the four South American teams from pot 1- called pot X by FIFA – to ensure three European teams aren’t grouped together.
3. U.S. Team Placed in Pot 3
The Americans were placed in pot 3 with Australia, Japan, Iran, South Korea, Costa Rica, Honduras and Mexico.
Jergen Klinsmann’s U.S. squad is grouped with five of the seven worst World Cup teams, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index rankings.
4. Americans Face Potential ‘Group of Death’
The U.S. team will likely be placed in an incredibly difficult group. The odds say the U.S. will be placed in a group with two better teams, Business Insider reported on Tuesday.
5. Top 8 Teams in Pot 1
Pot 1 is made up of the top eight teams in the world, per FIFA’s ranking system.