COPPA CONFEDERAZIONE Draw Details Draw Date: Monday, December 29 @ 10 PM ET Another season, another Coppa! The structure of the Coppa will be changed some this season with the expansion of TFS from 34 to 36 teams. So how will this affect what will ultimately be Zikry's next Coppa run? Well, if we just added 2 more teams to the current group structure, we would end up with 4 groups of 4 teams and 4 groups of 5 teams. While that helps to keep the knockout bracket structure nice and neat, it creates somewhat of an imbalance as teams try to qualify for the Coppa Tradizione. So scratch that idea, and instead, we'll be going with 9 groups of 4 teams each, leading to 18 teams qualifying for the Coppa Tradizione knockout stage (winners & runner-ups) and 18 teams for the Coppa Confederazione (3rd & 4th-placed teams). And to accomodate for an 18-team bracket, we'll be conducting a DRAW before the beginning of the knockout stage (as opposed to having a pre-set Winner of A vs. Runner-Up of B type of setup). That's the basics, with full details listed below. Schedule The first group match games will open the same day as the start of the TFS season. The Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals will remain open for an extended time (a week and a half each), to allow ample time for all games to be completed (and for Preliminary Round matches to be completed). The dates for the schedule will be as follows: 12/31 - 1/7: Serie Matchweek 1 will have Group Matchday 1 1/7 - 1/14: Serie Matchweek 2 will have Group Matchday 2 1/14 - 1/21: Serie Matchweek 3 will have Group Matchday 3 1/21 - 1/28: Serie Matchweek 4 will be a buffer week for unplayed group stage games 1/28 - 2/8: Preliminary Round & Round of 16 will be during Serie Matchweek 5 & part of Serie Matchweek 6 2/8 - 2/18: The later part of Serie Matchweek 6 & all of Serie Matchweek 7 will be the time for the Quarterfinals 2/18 - 2/25: Back to weekly scheduling, with the Semifinals during Serie Matchweek 8 2/25 - 3/4: Coppa Tradizione & Confederazione Final during Serie Matchweek 9 Groups With 36 teams, there will be 9 groups (A-I) of 4 teams each. All groups will still contain at least 1 representative from each Serie level. Pots There will be 4 pots. The pots are seeded by defending Coppa Tradizione title holder first, Serie level second, and previous season's results third, with any newcomers being placed into the last pot. Each pot will contain 9 teams (1 for each group). Here are the pots: Pot 1: MiaFLSurf (Southampton), Zikry (Marseille), shiftee (CSKA Moscow), vipermansa (Dinamo Moscow), CxMacx10 (Shakhtar Donetsk), Broncos218 (Hamburger SV), rschwep (1899 Hoffenheim), BESHIKTAS (Besiktas), HokieNYC (Lyon) Pot 2: RedAL925 (Sporting CP), redwings8831 (Villarreal), hedache (UD Almeria), IJGator (Ajax), KnightNoles (Olympiakos), Frenchie1916 (B. M'gladbach), MoonBBad (Stoke City), pitt4life21 (Aston Villa), hokie79 (Malaga) Pot 3: UcanHateMeNow (Hertha Berlin), Caleb Clark (Sunderland), Calhockey10 (West Brom), BigBeansMcGee (Coventry City), abolishthefed (Swansea City), Lou (Saint-Etienne), Akshat Singhal (Lokomotiv Moscow), CTfromDC (PSV Eindhoven), PhiGuy179 (Newcastle) Pot 4: John O'Connor (Spartak Moscow), Lions67 (Udinese), Edgar Calderon (Celtic), dave okeeffe (Crystal Palace), Jugster (Hannover 96) Andanas (Lille OSC), Billy (QPR), Jeffrey Hartle (RSC Anderlecht), Kasper (West Ham) Group Stage Draw Sequence With the World Cup draw, they draw a team and a slot (1-4) within the group. Since the schedule is already set for each slot within each group, and I don't want to prolong the draw with also drawing group slots when I draw each team, a quick random draw of the slot order will be done for each group beforehand. This is done so that certain pots aren't guaranteed 2 home games and further randomizes the playing order within the group. So for example, I'll randomize Group A and it may turn out that slot 1 goes to the 3rd team drawn, slot 2 to the 1st team drawn, etc. Just check out the previous Coppa's draw if this sounds confusing. Primarily, it's just to randomize the matches. After that, the teams will be drawn in a live format, with me posting the results here in this thread at the previously announced draw date & time. First, the Pot 1 teams will be drawn group-by-group from Group A to Group I. Afterwards, Pot 2 will also be drawn group-by-group. Once the first 2 pots have been drawn, we'll have 3 groups with 2 Serie A representatives. To ensure these groups have a club from Serie B, we will first draw 3 of the Serie B teams from Pot 3 into these groups. After that, the remainder of Pot 3 will be drawn into the other groups, again going from A to I. Lastly, Pot 4 teams will be drawn group-by-group. Knockout Stage Draw Sequence For the first time in the Coppa's 13-season history, we'll have a draw following the group stage to determine matches in the knockout rounds! There will be only one draw (as opposed to a draw before each round), and it will be at the beginning of the knockout stage. Since both the Coppa Tradizione and Coppa Confederazione brackets will consist of 18 teams, there will be 2 preliminary matches in each tournament leading into a Round of 16. So to make this all work, here's how the bracket will be structured: - The top 8 of the 9 group winners will host a Round of 16 match. - The lowest-ranked group winner and the 5 highest-ranked runner-ups will be placed directly into the Round of 16, and will face a group winner. - The 4 lowest-ranked runner-ups will be placed into a Preliminary Round, with the winners of those matches advancing to the Round of 16. - The Coppa Confederazione will follow the same winner/runner-up structure, but with 3rd and 4th-placed teams instead. When referring to "ranked" teams above, that means the normal tiebreak structure of PTS > GD > GF. So for example, if 8 group winners finish with 9 points and 1 winner only gets 7 points, he'll be the "lowest-ranked" group winner and won't get to host a Round of 16 match. The full draw sequence for the knockout stage draw will be further explained before the draw. The only rule for this draw will be that teams from the same group will not be allowed to play against each other in the Round of 16. The key thing to takeaway here is that your PTS, GD, and GF totals will be ranked against all the other teams that finish in the same place in their respective group. For any questions, post over in the Cups Discussion thread.