TORONTO - The soccer teams at this summer's Pan American Games will get a better idea of the road to gold at Friday's competition draw.
The eight men's and eight women's sides will be divided into two groups. Canada and Mexico, the two automatic North American qualifiers, will be in different pools.
The women's competition runs July 11-25 while the men's event, which features under-22 players, goes July 12-26.
The Pan Ams are part of a crowded soccer summer, which also sees the June 6-July 5 Women's World Cup and the July 7-26 men's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Canada will likely use the men's competition as a chance to run out players who may be part of the under-23 Olympic qualifying squad. Senior coach Benito Floro doubles as Olympic team coach.
The Canadian women's side will be a development squad, mostly under-20 with a few older players.
Mexico won the men's gold at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, ahead of Argentina and Uruguay. The women's gold went to a strong Canadian side, ahead of Brazil and Mexico.
The U.S. did not enter soccer teams in the 2015 Games.
Games will be played at Hamilton's Tim Hortons Field which will be rebranded the CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium during the competition.