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Report: Copa America headed to U.S. in 2016


ESPN is reporting that the U.S. and Mexican national teams will join four other CONCACAF teams and 10 CONMEBOL teams in Copa America 2016, to be played in the United States that year.

ESPN’s Jorge Ramos said as much in a tweet (in Spanish) earlier today. The news hasn’t been officially announced, but that is expected to come soon.

According to a statement from CONMEBOL (also in Spanish), there will be a total of 16 teams in the July tournament. Among the many topics discussed in a meeting of 10 national football association presidents on Wednesday, Copa America turns 100 in 2016, and to celebrate the occasion, CONMEBOL will invite teams from throughout the Americas to what is traditionally a South American event.

Ten teams will come from South America and six from CONCACAF, including the U.S. and Mexico plus four of the top finishers from the 2015 Gold Cup.

What are your thoughts about this potentially epic soccer event in the USA? Share your thoughts below.


  1. It does make sense to add CONCACAF to the mix on a regular basis. The way the CONMEBOL qualifying is set up, each of the teams play two matches against everybody else in the region every cycle. Putting 6 additional teams into the mix, and starting to permanently make it the best teams from CONCACAF, will add other interesting matches…and maybe produce some new rivalries (remember the Argentina-Mexico WC match?). I can’t wait to go to some of these matches and see how it all plays out.

  2. Best news I’ve heard in weeks. I wonder how US Soccer pulled this deal off? Cash grab by the South American FA’s? Regardless, this is going to be amazing. I look forward to saving some money and traveling to a US game or two unless they play in Phoenix (which I doubt).

  3. This has been in the works for a long time, and is precursor or trial run for what a combined CONEMBOL/CONCACAF confederation would look like. The powers that be in both Federations have gazed over at the Euro competition for years with envy. Remember Copa America is the oldest touranement in the world including Euro and WC, the South America’s don’t like being second fiddle to the European competitions. The major proposals I’ve read about that seem they would work and the one that I suggest is:

    Combine the 10 CONMEBOL nations with the teams of North and Central America (USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemla, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua) the Carribean nations along with Jack Warner and the rest of their filth are broken off and forced to form their own Confederation similiar in scope to Oceania and playing a playoff with that other small Confederation winner taking a WC berth.

    The 18 Nations of the new Americas Conferderation would then be a powerhouse that could combine to challenge Europe and the Euro competiation for soccer supremecy. It would be a massive money draw and would also provide both Confederations with increase high level competition thru qualifying that in the long run will strenghten teams like the US and Mex, instead of facing anit football tactics we continue to see from teams like Anitgua, Jamaica, and the like. We don’t need to be playing those teams anyway.

    The only downside to this would be, there will be times when the USA will fail to qualify for WC. The combine confederation would have some very strong teams, so we either have to put our Big Boy pants on or keep playing CONCACAF minnows on terrible pitches with atrocious refering. I prefer the alternative.

    • It’s not clear that these will be FIFA dates, meaning the European clubs may not want to release their players. Hope they hammer that out.

      I also wonder what it would take to combine the confederations? Can we just quit CONCACAF and band with CONMEBOL, or is there a FIFA process in which the Caribs would get a vote, etc.? There’s no way the Caribs want to shunted off into their own poor little confederation. They’re starting to get increased money, exposure, and improvement now from MLS and the improving CONCACAF region. Also, some nations, like Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago have made the hex and qualified for the WC. Would they prefer to be big fish in a small sea (see what I did there?) and have a shot at the .5 spot every year, or would they rather stay with the big boys?

      • I think it would be interesting if the American confederations combined into one mega-confederation. For the first couple of WC cycles I’m sure the South Americans would dominate qualifying, but the rest of the countries would surely increase in quality rather quickly.

      • My thoughts on the Carribean countries, is to hell with them. As a bloc they blocked our bid for 2022 WC and took bribes along with Jack Warner. They deserve to rot in the FIFA wilderness of a weak confederation of their own instead of ours. They are holding the rest of CONCACAF back from becoming a better confederation. They fields are borderline non playable, non mowed, and what Antigua and Barbuda did by making the field of play as narrow and short as possible is tantamount to waterlogging the pitch for a match.

        In any other confederation such as CONMEBOL or UEFA this sort of unsportman like conduct wouldn’t be tolerated. UEFA would move the game and disqualify the host of the match rather than play on an unsafe dishelved pitch, but here in CONCACAF becasue each federation gets one vote and the small Caribiean nations far outnumber the Mexicos and USAs they rule the roost in CONCACAF. Its time for that to end.

        I think CONMEBOL is more than open to union with the North American and Central American nations, particularly the revenue they could make by playing games in the US regularly. They know they have a large amount of immigrants from their countries living in the US who would pay and could pay far more per ticket than they could their own home games. I also think CONMEBOL is open for the very reason of creating a Confederation on par or at least challenging the dominance of UEFA with FIFA.

        Sepp Blater is retiring after next WC, Michael Platini seems to be the shoe in for the next head of FIFA. As we all know, within FIFA the rules may be broken. If the head of FIFA wants something to happen it can happen, even a teeny tiny nation like Qatar hosting a WC.

        My central thought is that the small petty Caribean nations are holding back USA and Mexico from getting better competition thru qualifying which then holds back the style of play both nations have to play to advance thru qualifying thereby holding us back from really challenging for winning a WC.

        Union with CONMEBOL will take a bit of a transition period, but its time for US Soccer to put its BIG BOY pants on, drop the likes of Anitgua, Trinidad, Hati, PR, Grenada, etc. and step it up to play Argentina, Brazil, and Chile in meaningful matches each cycle.

        At the very least we will be playing qualifiers on a real soccer fielf rather than the Cricket field we played on earlier this month in Antigua.

        WC Qualifying could look like this: we drop Caribean and give them the .5 spot so they can playoff with Oceania. The combined Americas Confederation would include USA, Mex, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezula, Peru, Ecudor, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Combined with CONMEBOLs current 4.5 WC spots plus the remain 3 after giving the .5 to Caribean would leave 7.5 WC spots with the .5 spot most likely in a playoff with either Asia or African team for the last spot. You could have three groups of six in qualifying doing round robin. Top two in each earn automatic bids, the next best two earn playoff round with the winner taking the seventh automatic spot and the loser taking the .5 and going to playoff with either Asia or Africa, whoever FIFA decides to pair us with. Here is how the groups could look:


        Group 2
        Costa Rica

        Group 3

  4. This is such great news! Too bad the world is ending in two months! It would have been sweet to attend a game or two. Be Prepared!

  5. I think this has been a few years in the works I heard about it a long time ago because concacaf and commebol are tired of the euros out doing them with popularity so they are using their anniversary to try it out. This is a great idea have concacaf use the gold cup to qualify for copa America. I cannot wait this will be a true cops America and being here in the USA it’s definetly going to rival the euros in terms of attendance, production value and pretty close in quality of play.

  6. Funny guys are trying to change the name of Copa America. I wonder if those are the same guys that started calling a field a pitch, a tie a draw, and a draw a tie.

    I have no language skills whatsoever and I can manager Copa America.

  7. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

    This is EXACTLY the kind of tourney that the US and other rising CONCACAF sides need. I would not be surprised if the gates actually top what will be made at the WC (not TV and endorsements, but attendance and stadium revenue). I hope that a few will hold their own, but I also hope Brasil and Argentina are seeded on opposite sides of the brackets, because a final between those two teams would rival any Euro final.

    It’s crazy to think that 2016 will see the USMNT field a post LD Deuce Cherundolo Boca and possibly post Howard side.

  8. First of all. My body is so ready for this.

    2ndly – This, Euros and The Olympics all in one summer?!?!? I might combust due to over excitement. This is amazing. Simply amazing… I mean, it’d be great if we were invited and it was in another country but to have it HERE….in the US. Wow. Can’t wait!

  9. two words: AWE-SOME, for soccer fans, for potential new fans, for USMNT

    if Copa gets moved to the even years between World Cups and U.S. gets to participate, the team should improve as the number of competitive matches against high quality competition basically doubles from just WC to WC and Copa…in the Gold Cups and WCQ, Mexico is the only real consistent threat to the US, (just look at who gets to the Finals each year), with CONMEBOL teams, USMNT will get to face at least two of the better teams in the region in group play…

    this only bodes well for the team and it won’t interfere with Gold Cup/Confed Cup-a win, win, win

  10. Trust me, I’m not complaining….however, I understand we’re always going to struggle support with such a diverse population of ethnicities that reside in the United States. What will annoy me the most though is the bandwagon soccer fans that think it’s cool to wear a Leo Messi Kit or Brazil Kit and cheer them on.

    Americans…..cheer on your fucking country. End of story.

  11. Bring it to Texas! We have Reliant and Cowboy Stadiums, and we’re closer to SA countries for travel. Would be a great location. Also, I could go, which would be nice too.

  12. This is the next best thing to a world cup plus i expect the USNT to hold their own in this. I think alot of soccer fans in this country turn their noses (snobs and jerks but still fans) at the gold cup and qualifying games vs guatemala, el salvador, antigua, etc but this will bring out everyone.

    It will not be a qualifier for the confed cup but i would assume brazil, argentina, usa and mexico if not everyone will go big time for this

  13. So what’s happening to Chile’s hosting in 2015? Iirc, they traded 2015 and 2019 with Brazil? And are you going to run this before, after or concurrently with the Olympics? A 16 team tournament takes the better part of a month, especially given travel requirements in the us. (Figure ten days for round robin, ten days for the quarters and semis, another five days for the finals. So it would have to be in July. If 2015 is going to happen, the best players won’t have had a break since 2013. (2013 season, 2014 World Cup, 2014 season, 2015 Copa, 2015 season) unless this is the binding confederations cup tourney, expect any teams in the Olympics the next month to go heavy on eligible players. Especially whoever wins 2015, because their players are now looking at five straight summers. This is an exhibition, about cash. It’s not a real tournament. Fun, but let’s not get too excited about an exhibition tour, those happen every summer.

    • So we have a bunch of tired teams playing in the US summer heat. How is this qualitively different from the US-Brazil game at FedEx this summer?

  14. awesome news

    A lot of people have been advocating for this for a long time. Lets hope thats its a huge success and the Copa America becomes a joint tourney from then on.

  15. Talk about fixture congestion though, the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL players who play in the next world cup will have 3 STRAIGHT summers of major international tourneys, the 2014 WC, 2015 Gold Cup/Copa America, and 2016. Yikes.

  16. What’s impressive is the quality of play this tournament would have. According to today’s ELO ratings:
    2. Brazil
    4. Argentina
    8. Mexico
    10. Colombia
    16. Ecuador
    17. Uruguay
    19. Chile
    26. USA
    32. Venezuela
    34. Peru
    35. Paraguay
    41. Panama
    43. Honduras
    44. Costa Rica
    55. Bolivia

    Maybe it’s no Euro but it’s not so shabby either…

  17. Copa America keeps CONMEBOL teams going strong and maintaining a high degreee of competition for a longtime. CONCACAF is improving on a yearly basis. A Copa America in the US would be ideal for bringing in a new generation of USMNT players and we have many bright prospects right now. I am equally looking forward to the WC as much as Copa America. Screw MLS. The USMNT needs Copa America in 2016.

    • What’s with all the MLS hate? The domestic league should be embraced and nurtured. A good domestic league raises the profile of the sport and provides a place for domestic players to get consistent playing time. All are required for the USMNT to improve.

      Copa America is great, but don’t undercut the importance of a strong domestic league, MLS in our case.

  18. This is top news! Is it not? Don’t we not get invited to this tournament usually to begin w/. last time we did i thought we rudely sent a ‘b’ squad that got hammered. do we traditionally play in this tournament?

    • Check out that B squad we went (who hung around for a half with Argentina): A few of these guys were older players rewarded with a last run out, but many of them were a preview of what would be contributors in 2010. And can you imagine someone thinking Eddie Johnson and Herc Gomez would be our Forwards? With Beckerman in Midfield and Sacha Kljestan? But seriously, this was Charlie Davies coming out party and Jay Demerit’s ticket to the Confederations Cup of ’09.

      GOALKEEPERS- Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

      DEFENDERS- Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)

      MIDFIELDERS- Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Lee Nguyen (PSV Eindhoven), Ben Olsen (D.C.United)

      FORWARD- Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Herculez Gomez (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)

    • It wasn’t rude – it was practical. – okay, maybe it was a little rude, but it had to be expected.

      We won the Gold Cup a few weeks earlier- which was our priority that year. Winning the Gold Cup qualified us for the Confed Cup which prepared us for South Africa.

      As I recall, Mexico sent a B-team too; they were just better than ours.

  19. I think this can only be good for the development of the U.S. national team to face top programs in a meaningful tournament. The only thing that I find odd is that CONMEBOL is holding its championship tournament in the heart of CONCACAF, must be a $$$ grab.

    • I believe the reasoning is that they don’t want any single country to ‘unfairly’ host the centennial at the expense of others so they decided to have it hosted in a ‘neutral’ sight. They can also make a lot of money obviously.

  20. Awesome. This is also a trial run as well. Both Condederations are using this Tournament as a trial run for future potential joint CONCACAF/ CONMEBOL tournaments. This will bag both Confederations a shiite ton of money. Oh boy the same year as the Euro’s. I gaurantee FOX, NBC, and ESPN are going to compete for the rights for this awesome tournament. I bet NBC gets it.

  21. They have been talking about this for a while and I’m glad it’s coming to fruition. I hope it continues the format into the future.

    • Dude, we could seriously use your skills in World Cup qualifying these days! Bummer that your career wasn’t able to go on any longer; you were awesome at Japan/Korea 2002. 🙂

  22. This is weird but cool. It is really, really odd to hold a regional championship in another region. It is even odder to celebrate the centennial of a regional championship by moving it out of the region. We have clearly been missing out on the opportunity to bid for Euros, or at least Oceanias.

    This will, however, be a rare chance for Americans to see top-level national soccer teams here in bulk, and for more than a junket. Short of the World Cup this might be the biggest thing we’ve hosted. Gold Cup pales in comparison, even in the era of outside invitees.

    My one concern would be that of late we’ve held a lot of these marquee games on turf fields or grass laid over turf. This really needs to be held on grass fields that will provide real soccer play, and not on some roll-out carpet or astroturf. If they want to play on football stadiums, pick grass locations like the Rose Bowl or Tampa Bay.

    • For an official match they would probably demand that places like MetLife Stadium (Giants and Jets Stadium) and Cowboys Stadium would get grass laid out around April or May so they have enough time to see it grow properly….I don’t care what concerts they might have there lol easier to fix whatever damage if the grass takes roots….hell they will be able to hold Late June early July friendlies in those stadiums with Grass if they do that and even late July friendlies after the tournament as the big teams usually play in the US from late June to late July…..Seattle needs to bid for this and get grass laid out properly…they would pack the house for sure

      • Any stadium, in any city, under any conditions would ‘pack the house for sure’ especially only being two years removed from a World Cup that will be consumed by this nation in prime time during 2014.

    • Good point but it’s an easy excuse since this is a ‘one time’ thing for the 100th anniversary. So it’s not the regional championship, that will be 2015 and then again in 2019. This is the REGIONAL championship that likely will occur only once and undoubtedly make tens of millions by the end of the tournament.

  23. Hoping most teams bring their A squads. This is going to be an epic tournament! Only 4 years away… oh man that’s a long time from now….

      • The Gold Cup is held every two years, it would be 2013, 2015 and 2017. So this doesn’t interfere w/ that. It would likely be held after the Euros and before the Olympics in 2016.

        The Copa America is held every four years, it would be 2015 and 2019 but they’d hold this ‘special’ editions in 2016 for the 100th anniversary of Conmebol.

        Regardless…there is NO CHANCE that any of these countries would field anything but an ‘A’ team given that this will easily be the biggest international tournament ever in the Western Hemisphere.

  24. Its really too bad the “America’s cup” is already used

    The 16 team set up is ok. I would actually match 10 concacaf teams and 10 conmebol teams and invite +4 guest teams to have a = 24 team tournament

    Euro is 24 teams in 2016

    They really need to find a different name for the tournament that can be used in English and spanish. Keep copa america and gold cup to be played once in a 4 year cycle and eventually eliminate them to have a tournament in sync with the Euro

    • CONMEBOL, on average, outclasses the CONCACAF by a wide margin. Top 4 Concacaf teams can hold their own. 5-10 would get demolished.

      • Whoops, had my #’s mixed up. Still, CONCACAF teams 7-10 would probably struggle against even the lower-tier CONMEBOL teams.

    • I see no good reason not to refer to it as the America Cup in English, especially since there are now more soccer fans in this country than sailing fans! Otherwise, Inter-Americas Cup might work OK (still distinct from both “America’s Cup” and the old club-level Inter-American Cup). I’d also like to see this become a permanent arrangement where the 6 participants from each CONCACAF Hexagonal round of WC qualifying earn berths for the next Copa America. Keeping it at 16 teams (the 10 CONMEBOL nations plus the previous Hex teams from CONCACAF) works out great. We’re not Europe, and there’s no way you could go past the 6 Hex teams from CONCACAF without seriously watering down the quality, plus the “guest teams” thing is just a joke; remember how silly it was that Colombia almost won the CONCACAF title once? (It was just as goofy to see Japan in the Copa America, for that matter.) This is great news in any event, as it will provide American players with far stiffer competition than they face in the Gold Cup. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the recently concluded round of WC quals, it’s that the U.S. national team needs more and better experience!

      • America by definition in latin america is both north and south america it is considered one.

        So Cup America fine to me no need to add an S and the end of America

      • “Refer to it as the America’s Cup in English, especially since there are now more soccer fans in this country than sailing fans!”


        How about “Cup of the America’s” I DO LIKE THAT. The 2016 Copa America may make so much money it may never be in South America again. 😀

        I don’t think the federations will complain. 😀

      • I’m predicting now that the 2016 US edition will set new Copa America attendance records. I was fortunate enough to attend a Copa America game in Ecuador about 20 years ago and they were playing neighboring Venezuela. The announced attendance was around 20,000 in a 50000 seat stadium. The actual attendance was probably around 10,000,

      • Without a doubt it will have outrageous attendance. And it will only be played in ‘football’ stadiums in large cities with easy accessibility to traveling South Americans and migrant populations.

        So the guesses above by Jim on venues seems pretty solid.

      • Giants Stadium and Gillette Stadium are the same…But Cowboys stadium will be a serious contender to host the final since they kept in mind a World Cup Final when designing and building the place.

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