For the first time in the tournament’s history, the US will host Copa America in 2016. The centennial year for the premier tournament of South American soccer.
No disrespect to the Gold Cup, but this is arguably the greatest tournament to be held in the US since the World Cup in 1994. It shows how popular soccer really is in America. This would have been unheard of 5 years ago.
Copa America is held every four years (with 2016 being the exception) in South America with teams from CONMEBOL competing for a place in the Confederations Cup. The last Copa America was staged in 2011 with Argentina being the hosts. The tournament was won by Uruguay for the 15th time. CONMEBOL extends invites to teams from other confederations to take part in the tournament as well. In 2011 Mexico and Costa Rica took part in the tournament, both from CONCACAF. (The US last appeared in the tournament in 2007).
The 2016 Copa America tournament will take place from June 3-26, and the host cities will be announced at a later date. CONCACAF will have 6 teams competing (the US and Mexico are already qualified) and CONMEBOL will have 10. CONCACAF president Jeffery Webb praised the efforts of the two confederations saying “for the first time, Copa America comes home, comes north.” (Per ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle) This is a new step for soccer in the States, and by hosting a premier tournament it sends a message that soccer is growing rapidly here, and will not be going anywhere any time soon.
This is a great moment for MLS, the USSF, and fans across the country. Our great nation will host teams like Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, and we will see our Yanks compete against some of the world’s best.