Report: CONCACAF, Conmebol planning 18-team tournament in 2016

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Conmebol's Copa America is the oldest international continental tournament in soccer, and 2016 will mark its 100th birthday.

That could also be the year that many American soccer fans have a dream come true.

According to Mexican outlet mediotiempo.com, CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit said during a recent stop in Mexico that an 18-team tournament consisting of teams from CONCACAF and Conmebol is being planned for 2016.

With no Gold Cup or Copa America scheduled for that year, officials are proposing the Copa America's centennial be celebrated with a tournament comprised of 10 Conmebol teams and eight from CONCACAF. There was no explanation on which eight teams would represent CONCACAF, but the United States and Mexico seem all but guaranteed to be included.

There also was no further comment made as to what the teams would play for. Both regions are scheduled to have their respective regular tournaments in 2015, and those are typically the ones with Confederations Cup berths on the line.

Hawit also said permanently inviting Brazil to future Gold Cups, starting with the one in 2013, is being contemplated.

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What do you think of a potential CONCACAF-Conmebol tournament? Like the idea? Should Brazil be invited to all future Gold Cups?
Share your thoughts below.
This entry was posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup, International Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

123 Responses to Report: CONCACAF, Conmebol planning 18-team tournament in 2016

  1. Annelid Gustator says:

    “permanently inviting Brazil to future Gold Cups, starting with the one in 2013, is being contemplated.”

    No. Just don’t do that. Invite a rotating cast to the off-year tourney, but not for the important ones.

  2. stpualjosh says:

    huzzah!!!!

  3. jgdurl says:

    Are they sure they want 8 CONCACAF teams? U.S., Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica…Panama?…Canada?…Cuba?…Guadeloupe?

  4. chris says:

    This would be perfect to hold this tourney on a permanent basis. I think it is dumb to have a Gold Cup every two years. Have Copa America and Gold Cup one cycle and combine the two to rival the Euros. No doubt it would work in the US, almost every game would be sold out. I am not advocating the mearging of the two Regions but holding a whole American Continent would be sick

  5. Petaluman says:

    Agreed

  6. jcl says:

    SELL OUTS

    Who would go to the Confederations Cup when Brazil wins both the Gold Cup and the Copa America?

  7. chris says:

    Well there is only 10 teams in South America so why not add some underdogs that could suprise

  8. Taylor says:

    +10000

  9. Jeff says:

    I say CONCACAF should get 10 teams as well. Could do 4 groups of 5 with top 2 advancing in each group. Help generate money for more of our smaller countries. They want our US stadiums so make them give us equal representation. The 10 vs 8 is BS!

  10. Roscoe says:

    Word. I love this idea.

  11. ml says:

    hmmm doesnt 18 (especially 8 from concacaf) sounds like too many? just take 6 from concacaf and then you’d have 4 groups of 4 which sets up much better for knockout rounds.

  12. Sam says:

    Great news…they should call it the New World Cup…

  13. louis z says:

    well, I love the idea but if is not a FIFA sanction event for both confederations we will only see domestic players. If they can pull this off it would be great for soccer in the americas.

  14. The Dude says:

    Fantastic idea!

    What’s NOT a good idea is letting Brazil into the Gold Cup. They’d win every year! How does that benefit CONCACAF?

  15. Ricky B. Free says:

    Grant Wahl FTW!!

  16. EAscott says:

    Fantastic!

    I hope they make this permanent. A great way to get our guys some experience in a competitive tournament between world cups. It always frustrates me that we don’t make a bigger effort to play in Copa America…

  17. BostonTim says:

    +1000

  18. MJD says:

    The runners-up

  19. isaf says:

    WTF?

    OH my god. shame most likely Donovan and Dempsey will be retired by then.

    Shea. This is your tournament to shine

  20. isaf says:

    but if CONCACAF and CONEMBOL combine, won’t that just destroy the 8 teams needed to make the Confederations Cup work?

    I think we could make quarter-finals in such a combined tournament.

  21. NE Matt says:

    To rival the Euros, it would have to mean something to win the tournament though. The Euro winner goes to Confed Cup. If you keep the Gold Cup and Copa America winners as Confed Cup births, then this tournament becomes a string of friendlies that probably wouldn’t even cap tie someone to the country they play for.

  22. isaf says:

    If Guadeloupe makes it to the FINAL, does that mean world peace is imminent?

  23. isaf says:

    Great point. I’m sure a 5million dollar reward for winning the tournament might help

  24. RK says:

    It does — that’s half of the WC.

  25. abc says:

    I hate to say it, but there are not 8 worthy CONCACAF teams.
    Why not invite 6 so it’s a 16 team tournament? Isn’t that a better number than 18?
    6 could be US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Jamaica…

  26. RK says:

    Sorry, more than half! 32 teams in the WC…

  27. abc says:

    Yeah that is a terrible idea.

  28. chris says:

    From what i have heard is Europeans put more stock into winning the Euros then Confed Cup

  29. abc says:

    +10000000

  30. Peter says:

    Does anybody think that the spot in the Confederations Cup is what the teams contesting the European Championship are really playing for? No, it is to be the European Champions.

    Schedule this tournament to run every four years, either at the same time as the European Championships for a global soccer party every second June, or just afterwards. It can only help the U.S. to face this level of competition.

    If we are really worried about the Confederations cup, it is easy to award the spot to the highest placing team from each confederation.

    And get rid of the Gold Cup, or repackage it as a U-23 tournament or something.

  31. chris says:

    yeah 4 groups of 4 would be perfect

  32. Mike says:

    I’m pretty sure that winning the Euro is prestigious enough, and that most Europeans could care less that they get into the Confed Cup as a “reward.”

  33. BSCHA says:

    Jamaica, El Salvador, Guatamala, T&T…

  34. 20 says:

    I like the idea of the tournament, 10 vs 8 is fine, but I don’t want Brazil in the Gold Cup! They probably wouldn’t even send their A-team, and they’d still be favored to win it.

  35. DingDong says:

    Ives, it’s still 52 days until April 1.

  36. Mike says:

    Great idea. Can’t wait to see it. Domesticiles or otherwise!

  37. bryan says:

    agreed. if they give CONCACAF a perm spot in Copa, then fine. if not, they can rotate a SA team on the “off” years (e.g. no Confed Cup implications).

  38. fcd96 says:

    (According to current FIFA rankings)

    Top 8 teams in CONCACAF:

    21. Mexico

    33. USA

    47. Panama

    51. Honduras

    52. Jamaica

    62. Costa Rica

    64. El Salvador

    74. Canada

    Top 10 teams in CONMEBOL:

    4. Uruguay

    6. Brazil

    10. Argentina

    12. Chile

    27. Paraguay

    34. Peru

    35. Colombia

    41. Venezuela

    42. Ecuador

    109. Bolivia

  39. Award says:

    Looking FWD to this happening. I don’t care if it’s domestic players from each country competing in the tournament or full fledged senior team “A” squads. This type of tournament can only further strengthen USMNT players in the International arena.

  40. Lost in Space says:

    I love the idea of a CONMEBOL Vs. CONCACAF tournament. Drop 1 of the Gold Cup tournaments and put this in place of the None Confederations Cup qualifying GC. I’d prefer if the tournament rotated between North & South America and not be played in the USA every time…but I can see the financial advantage of the US hosting it. Would give greater compitition between the 2 federations and help players develop/prepair for the compitition of the World Cup.

  41. bryan says:

    i love this idea. i think it would be great, but they have to find a way to make it meaningful and put it on the FIFA calender. otherwise, it may not be as good as we imagine. and i agree, 18 seems like a lot.

    as for brasil always in the gold cup, i don’t like it. they can be in the gold cup that has no confed cup implications. OR they can give a CONCACAF team a permanent spot in Copa. but with what he said, it basically just gives brasil a safety net if they mess up in Copa while making it harder (which isn’t such a bad thing) for a CONCACAF team to win.

  42. Award says:

    Oh and this type of tournament would bring in some serious money to all countries involved. Can you imagine this tournament being held in the U.S. I smell a boat load of $ for both CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.

  43. fcd96 says:

    16 makes a ton of sense, although #10 in CONMEBOL (Bolivia) is actually ranked lower than #8 in CONCACAF (Canada).

  44. Award says:

    I see why they are saying 18 teams. Because the 8 Quarter Finalists of the 2015 Gold Cup would be invited to play in this New World Cup(great name for this cup by the way Sam.)

  45. jgdurl says:

    So all but 1 team in CONMEBOL are ranked higher than all CONCACAF teams save Mexico and U.S.

    Cannon fodder.

  46. Charles says:

    Not saying I disagree in the idea that SAm teams are way better…..but these ARE FIFA rankings we are talking about.

  47. Charles says:

    The New World Cup name rocks.

  48. aristophanes says:

    Instantly becomes the 2nd or 3rd best soccer tournament in the world. How some people think that isn’t meaningful enough is dumbfounding. Copa Americas ftw.

  49. EAscott says:

    +1 for “New World Cup”

  50. THomas says:

    That would be great. However the Gold Cup and Copa America are run every two years because there is no qualifying process save for the minnows in CONCACAF.

    The qualification for spots in the Euros takes up an entire two years. While every team in CONMEBOL is in the Copa America and the heavyweights of CONCACAF are in that.

    But that said, I still think it would be neat to have WC 2014 then the Americas Cup in 2016 then WC 2018 then Americas Cup 2020 etc.

    Time zones are all similar, languages are close enough to similar and it would be more entertaining group stage games.

    Maybe take the top four finishers in Gold Cup and Copa America and put them in an 8 team quadrennial tournament of the Americas?

  51. Aguinaga says:

    Hosted where I wonder? Guessing Chile, though Paraguay/Uruguay would be sweet. Too much rain in the northern countries, Argentina is broke, and Brazil will have just had the Mundial.

  52. Lorenzo says:

    How is this different than the World Cup? N Korea v Brazil, Honduras v Spain, etc etc.

    I have no doubt our bottom 6 could meet their bottom 5 on the field. They would probably win 60-70% of them, but I think it would be competitive enough for the tournament.

  53. pd says:

    no. the rapture.

  54. sdflash2006 says:

    Inviting Brazil on a permanent basis to compete in the Gold Cup demonstrates conclusively that this tournament is nothing more than a money grab. The Gold Cup has no credibility internationally and should be combined with the Copa America permanently.

  55. louis z says:

    i like your idea.

  56. louis Z says:

    I like “The Americas Cup”

  57. Cris says:

    ML is right, 16 teams would be perfect, 8 teams qualify for knockout. I would love to see Mexico, US, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and Jamaica with the 10 countries of South America. That would be an awesome tournament. Im sure Bolivia would qualify for the world cup if they were in Concacaf, Fifa Rankings arent admiration

  58. Cris says:

    I meant *accurate

  59. Mike in Austin says:

    Great idea to have a combined Copa Americas tournament, provided FIFA calls it official.

    The TV audience for evening, meaningful games would be huge, which would mean good money for every team taking part. If this was marketed smartly in the states, it could spark true US soccer passion in the general audience on a non-WC year.

    So it gives fans something exciting to watch, makes nice amount of money for all involved and provides teams in CONCACAF with high level opposition. I think everyone wins with this.

    Now just don’t have Brazil be a permanent invite to the Gold Cup. How about having the Gold Cup once every 4 years with 16 CONCACAF teams and have the top 8 qualify for the Copa Americas instead.

  60. RevsEric says:

    Excellent.

  61. wilyboy says:

    Brazil shouldn’t play in every Gold Cup, but the 18 team tournament would be a far better way for the US to test their first team against top competition, and relative to Mexico. Hope it works out.

  62. away goals says:

    Yeah, any allusion to confederations cup is short sighted. This would instantly become the non-world cup tournament that usmnt fans care about most.

  63. Cairo says:

    They could play it on a sailboat, which would add to the degree of difficulty and differentiate it from the Euros…

  64. Eurosnob says:

    For whatever it is worth, Costa Rica (No.62) played Uruguay (4) tough in the elimination WC qualifiers. Yes, South American teams are better than Concacaf teams, but Concacaf has more money. Imagine hosting a tournament like this in the US – the stadiums will sell out. There is a good reason was to why Argentina and Brazil play so many friendlies in the US and not just against USMNT. Both CONMEBOL and CONCACAF are salivating over potential profits. It would be a great tournament regardless of the host country location.

  65. chris says:

    Aircraft carrier

  66. chris says:

    In the US

  67. Edwin in LA says:

    Guadalupe is out of the question simply because FIFA won’t let them participate in anything outside of the Gold Cup as they can only take part in the biggest Continental competition in their region, at the Senior Level…

    Cuba? Really…. Didn’t El Salvador put 5-0 on them in neautral ground, granted with a few Salvadorian fans but mostly the early arriving Mexico fans in Dallas last year at Cowboys stadium? And if they had finished a few of their sitters 1 v 1s it could have been 8-0 easily…..
    I know they upset Guatemala in 08 for WC 2010 qualifiers but Cuba would more often than not lose to Guatemala as well…

    Canada is the WILD CARD here…If Julian De Guzman switches back, all bets may be off…

    I say they have the 8 Quarter Finalists from last Gold Cup who very well could repeat in 2013 & 2015 unless Canada wakes up…

    US
    Mexico….> Those 2 are Givens
    Costa Rica-most consistent outside big 2
    Honduras
    Panama-quickly rising
    Jamiaca-might not last in form but good now
    El Salvador-barely lost to Panama @ Gold Cup
    Guatemala-Solid U-20 showing at U-20 WC and also did pretty well vs Mexico in NY

  68. Edwin in LA says:

    Copa America USE to be run every 2 years, but that stopped after the 2001 Edition which almost didn’t happen after the violence and stuff had some teams like Argentina and US pull out…

    After that they had it in 2004 for some reason, I forget why the lasted a while to decide, but then they moved it back to odd years and waited 3 again in 2007, and then kept the 4 year trend like in World Cups and Euros and had it 4 years later in 2011. The Next ones is in 2015 and 2019.

    I kind of like this idea of having it in the year when the Gold Cup is held in the less important fashion, HOWEVER just like they had this problem in Copa America, that interferes with WC QUALIFYING much more important….

    That’s probably why they’re willing to host it in the Olympic year, probably a better way to keep national teams busy as opposed to friendlies vs European squads out of Euros, African teams and each other in the Americas…

    I say have it in 2016, Olympic year in Rio..
    USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Jamaica, El Salvador, Guatemala & Canada give you 9 options….

  69. Andy Zilis says:

    Pretty sure the Euros’ importance and prestige has nothing to do with the Confed Cup berth. An 18-team Copa America (possibly hosted by the US) would be a big deal. Not as big as the Euros, but bigger than a regular Gold Cup or Copa America.

  70. Andy says:

    I’d prefer to see a 16 team tournament with the best 8 teams from each confederation. Yeah, their #9 is better than ours by a mile, but it will add a little bit of spice to the CONMEBOL, getting a few teams to fight for that #8 spot. It also makes organizing and seeding easier (i.e., 2 from each confederation in each group, etc.).

    I’m not a huge fan of Brazil in the Confed Cup… at all. Not necessary and means one CONCACAF side doesn’t get the chance to compete and improve.

  71. gandhi says:

    more then huzzah! its the big time. as long as its not during the Euros, it’ll be a serious cash cow. you better believe your big black &&& that it’ll get serious tv ratings numbers from Asia and Europe. you better believe that half of england will be watching Brazil vs. US. i’m also sure every single mexican or mexican american in the US will be watching Brazil vs Mexico…all 20mil…same with Canada vs Argentina, another 20mil. However, it should probably stick to just 6 concacaf teams, but hey maybe its about getting the canadian market and not being sure the canucks could make the top 6 (abysmal, but tru)

  72. RLW2020 says:

    Hellya! this is by far the best way to do it (in my opinion)

    summer of:
    2014-world cup
    2015-Gold Cup/Copa America
    2016-North and South American Tourny
    2017-confed cup
    2018-world cup

    as for how it works 10 SA nations + top 6-8 gold cup finishers.

  73. RLW2020 says:

    or what if they just did a 16 team bracket, single elimination!

  74. RLW2020 says:

    more $ as they turn a north american tourny to the Brazil USA tour!

  75. RLW2020 says:

    ya it will be either Brazil or USA. maybe a USA/Canada/Mexico combo or Argentina

  76. RLW2020 says:

    not a bad idea… just have to hope that Canada, Cuba, etc. pick it up!

  77. Coach Beck says:

    16 teams field for the Tournament of the Americas. Top 6 FIFA ranked teams in each confederation are in next four highest ranked in each confederation with a home and home to get in. 7 vs. 10, 8 vs. 9, 9 vs. 8, 10 vs. 7. That way noone can bark one confederation was being favored over another. You still get all or almost all COMNEBOL teams in, but then we can’t gripe about level playing field. It also generates some money for the lower level COMNEBOL teams and our smaller ones with the play in home game. Just an idea.

  78. Coach Beck says:

    Also think we need to really push to have FIFA sanction it as an official tournament.

  79. Eric says:

    Brazil would not be allowed to qualify for the Confederation cup by winning CONCACAF. If they win the tournament the runner up would qualify. Brazil has played in the Gold cup in the past and they do not always winand it would add another game or two of high interest rather than everyone waiting for USA vs Mexico in the final.

  80. pd says:

    I think 6 and 6 would be great, 4 groups of three teams, first place advances. I love this idea almost as much as US soccer hosting a tourney of “new world order” teams: Ghana Japan Chile etc. Only this idea is gonna actually sell tickets…

  81. fieldsy says:

    A true Copa America!

  82. Pd says:

    And a great way to say Russia and Qatar can kiss our pocketbook’s a$$

  83. Eurosnob says:

    Matt, winning Euros is a big deal in Europe – Confederations Cups is merely an afterthought.

  84. pd says:

    I dunno about you, but the pride of winning a tourney where Brasilia Argentina and Uruguay are in the mix should make any US or El Tri fan salivate…

  85. Pd says:

    +1000000000

  86. jgdurl says:

    Who wants to bet that CONCACAF and CONMEBOL agree to a tournament only to have FIFA come-in, panties all in a wad, and say they can’t do it?

  87. Martha says:

    They should scrap the crappy Gold Cup. They can just have a home and away (or or just in cal where its more Mex home than the US) tournament between Mex and the US to see who plays in the confederation cup.

    If they are going to have the Gold Cup then don’t invite Brazil it’s defeats the purpose and kills the argument for havin it in the first place.

    They should just permanately expand the Copa America to include Concacaf with the highest finishing Concacf team going to Confederations.

    Beating up on Guadalupe with out C team and Mexicos a team does nothing for the region.

  88. John says:

    Don’t be ignorant to the fact that this tournament is 4 years away.. in 4 years a team like Canada could have a team featuring Hutchinson, Jonathan De Guzman and David Hoilett.. not slouches exactly and I don’t think teams like Bolivia or Venezuela will be better.

  89. Jason says:

    And (granted it was 10 years ago) Honduras made a run to the semifinals of the 2001 Copa America after getting a last-minute invite.

    Beat Brazil in the QF, beat Uruguay on penalties in the bronze medal game.

  90. Edwin in LA says:

    Brazil not only will have just had the WC, the will have just held the Copa America the year prior if I’m not mistaken and on top of that Rio will be hosting the 2016 Olympics that SAME summer so I think they are out of the question. USA to host the 1st one would be smart, take it Argentina or Uruguay the next one and Mexico after that…

  91. Edwin in LA says:

    US is obviously the one with the most money generating potential…Can you imagine Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, USA and even to an extent to help fill up big stadiums El Salvador, Colombia & Guatemala as well as Honduras filling up FedEx Field, Met Life, Cowboys Stadium, Rose Bowl, SunLife Stadium, Lincoln Financial, and whatever other places…Invesco in Denver could fill up and benefit the Rapids scene…
    By then the new 49ers Stadium should be up with 70-72K or more..Seattle could lay down grass it would sell out for sure…
    Hell you put Colombia vs El Salvador or Honduras or just about anyone vs Mexico in Houston Reliant BAM Sellout

  92. Brian says:

    i guess you didnt want the copa america final between uruguay and Paraguay. so no…Brazil is def not a lock to win anything.

  93. Edwin in LA says:

    The only way to qualify for the Confederations Cup is win YOUR OWN respective Continental Tournament. For example if Mexico were to win the Copa America but lost the Gold Cup to the US, guess what they don’t make it to the Confeds.

    It goes to the highest placing country from that region..Here’s a Hypothetical…If Brazil had won last year’s edition of the Copa America vs say….Mexico or Costa Rica who were both CONCACAF invitees, then the representative from CONMEBOL would have been Peru fox example since we would assume the math and results would of led to that..
    Point is just because an invitee wins a tournament, they don’t earn a Confederations spot, they have to win their own tournament.

    Brazil did participate in the Gold Cup in it’s earlier era of the late 90s and the 1st one in the 2000s and the best it did was 2nd place twice and 3rd place the other. And that was when it truly had enough players for 2 or maybe 3 teams so their not so “A Team” was more than enough to win, now their watered down U-20 or B team should be great but not unbeatable by say US or Mexico or even a strong Honduras or Costa Rica squad…

  94. Edwin in LA says:

    De Guzman is not going to see the field with the Dutch so I don’t know what he’s waiting for, Canada has a relatively easy group with Panama, Cuba and Honduras….

    They can beat Cuba no doubt, Panama might be a challenge but with De Guzman, DeRo and maybe Hoilett if they can pull it off…Honduras is also manageable

    They need to get 1 and then it will be much easier to convince the other. The way I see it De Guzman is the key, as he is the best player and has the least prospect to be able to play with the Dutch. Hoilett should follow, I don’t know much about Hutchinson but I’m assuming he’s contemplating a UK team

  95. Edwin in LA says:

    Bolivia, HELL NO…Venezuela on the other hand has improved A LOT and ended in 4th last year’s Copa America and now they lead Conmebol Qualifying after beating Argentina at home…

    Venezuela has players like Aranjo in the Bundesliga among others…and his team is now in 2nd or 3rd nothing but 1 or 2 points away from the lead so in great position to play CL next year..
    Peru was overrated last year in that they didn’t draw Uruguay, Argentina or Brazil…
    The big two flopping the 1st games of the group stage really threw that tournament upside down but Venezuela still fought and beat some teams in group and knock round play

    • Andy V. says:

      overrated? are you still angry peru beat Venezuela at copa America for 3rd place? aswell in lima for qualifying now we are ranked 19th and fighting for a spot at the world cup you guys have drop from first to 6th and if you guys loose any more games Venezuela could be out of the world cup

  96. JCC says:

    Slight correction. The US wasn’t invited to the 2001 Copa America. It was Canada that was invited after winning the 2000 Gold Cup and they and Argentina skipped the tournament for safety reasons.

  97. JCC says:

    Jonathan De Guzman gave up his Canadian citizenship to gain Dutch citizenship, so he’s currently in the process of getting his Canadian citizenship back last I heard. I have no idea how long the process is for regaining Canadian citizenship.

  98. louis z says:

    good one

  99. Dalai Lama says:

    i feel you bro…2 invites…Japan & Ghana. However, the 6 & 6 aint gonna fly. Sure Conmebol is small, but they are a powerhouse region so it has to be 8 or 10, certainly needs to be more then Concacaf. We know our place. Just be glad we’re in the bigtown now. To sum up: we are small minnows extremely grateful to Conmebol, serious money will start to flow as latinos and all immigrants in the US come together w/Eurosnobs & generic americans who appreciate footie in one big orgy of footie watching at the pub/bar and giant public squares in the heart of various cities- time square, SF civic center, LA staples, etc., Uefa governing body will probably try to derail it…this is when you’ll the tourney will be a threat to them

  100. NelsonMandela says:

    Beyond sick.

  101. BishopDesmondTutu says:

    …just dont invite a European team. Their federation will probably clam up anyway, as they would probably see a bigger copa amer as a threat. I think 8 conmebol, 6 concacaf and 2 invites (one african, one asian). I like ivory coast and australia as invites

  102. VINCE says:

    Can we now merge CONCACAF AND COMENBOL and leave the corrupt carribean nations to fend for themselves after years of stealing and cronyism?

  103. Brett says:

    Keep the Copa Oro and the Copa America. For the new tourney, if they stick with 18 teams (I think 16 would be better) take the final 8 from each tournament and add in a 4-team ‘wildcard’ qualifying round to fill the last two spots and place 2 teams from each region against each other.

    So based on the last “copa” cycle the teams would be:

    Uruguay
    Paraguay
    Peru
    Venezuela
    Brazil
    Argentina
    Chile
    Colombia
    Mexico
    United States
    Honduras
    Panama
    Jamaica
    Costa Rica
    El Salvador
    Guatemala

    And the “wildcards” would be:

    Canada vs Bolivia
    Guadeloupe vs Ecuador

    That looks good to me, but heavily stacked in favor of the South American teams in terms of quality. I think the best in CONCACAF can play with the best in CONMEBOL but there are more quality sides in CONMEBOL.

    I do think going 16 teams would be better. Just take the best 8 from each and seed them into 4 groups of 4. Perhaps that is what they plan on doing anyway though and just eliminating 2 teams through a playoff round.

  104. Brett says:

    …and obviously, we would scrap the “off-year” Gold Cup to make room for this. I never liked that idea anyway.

  105. CdnGuy says:

    Canada > Bolivia …lol!

  106. eman says:

    every summer is paradise for US and international soccer fans!

  107. THomas says:

    I can’t imagine the inaugural event wouldn’t be in the U.S. It’s a safe option especially for the first go round. The last thing you want to be worrying about is stadiums being ready and security. Plus EVERY country will have support already living in the U.S. and access for those who aren’t will be easy with our infrastructure.

    And if it’s in the June Brazil will be focused on getting ready for the Olympics and have just hosted the World Cup two years prior and I guess the Copa America too if I’m not mistaken.

  108. THomas says:

    Very cool idea. Very cool. This way it will look more legit and in the end most CONMEBOL teams will end up winning out their playoff.

    For those who say CONMEBOL won’t want some of their teams not participating? I imagine the money that a U.S. hosted event will bring in would convince them otherwise.

    16 teams in the final tournament proper would be exactly the same as the Euros and I’d be willing to bet that attendance would be higher than the Euros. Obviously TV revenue wouldn’t be the same, but better than what the Gold Cup and Copa America get on their own now.

  109. BamaMan says:

    The Gold Cup and the Copa America should be merged permanently into a 16 team Pan-Am Cup or New World Cup tournament featuring the all South American teams and the 6 teams that make the “hexagonal” in CONCACAF. Highest finishing South American team and highest finishing CONCACAF team go to the FIFA Confederations Cup. Play it only once every four years so as not to dilute it. Play it the year immediately following the World Cup so that it does not conflict with the Euros and both confederations have plenty of time for their lengthy WC qualification processes. This is a good start although I have literally no idea how an 18 team tournament is going to work.

  110. bryan says:

    well, in that case, i don’t mind it so much. i do like the idea of having stronger competition.

  111. Marc says:

    Nice pic….The one time in his life Messi looked clueless on the pitch!

  112. CesarChavez says:

    my good friends Gandhi, NelsonMandela and Dalailama have good points. it would be a big money maker. the reason why concacaf needs 8 is that if its only 6, then the caribbean countries would throw a fit as they would probably believe it impossible to make final 6. they have veto power. also, having it at 8 increases the odds that the big money market of canada will make it. yes, i know i misspelled caribbean. hey, i’m a farmworker/activitst who watches too much footie, and no i do not support el Tri

  113. Dinho says:

    Groups of 5 is not a good idea. I think we need 16 teams. 10 from SA and 6 from NA/CA.

    4 groups of 4.

    Nice and simple.

  114. Dinho says:

    Is it just me or does Messi look FAT in that picture. :)

  115. SriKrishnamurti says:

    what? you do know that those games dont count?

  116. Daniel Hall says:

    I belive the Gold Cup should be played every 4 years rotated between Canada, Mexico and USA.

    Also the Gold Cup should expand either 16 teams or 24 teams

    16 Team Format

    CAN, MEX and USA

    Top 5 teams in Copa Centoamerica

    Top 8 teams in Caribbean Cup

    24 Team Format

    CAN, MEX and USA

    Top 5 teams in Copa Centoamerica

    Top 16 teams in Caribbean Cup

    For the Copa America the format should be either 16 teams or 20 teams

    16 Team Format

    10 CONMEBOL teams

    6 CONCACAF teams (based either on Gold Cup rankings, FIFA World Rankings, Top 2 FIFA Teams in NAFU, UNCAF, CFU)

    20 Team Format

    10 CONMEBOL teams

    10 CONCACAF teams (The Top 3 Teams in the FIFA World Rankings from NAFU, UNCAF, CFU and a two legged play-off between the 4th placed teams from UNCAF and CFU

  117. Daniel Hall says:

    Also the Gold Cup should bring back the Bronze Final, the following matches has not been played in the Gold Cup are:

    2000 Peru vs. Trinidad and Tobago

    2005 Honduras vs. Colombia

    2007 Canada vs. Guadeloupe

    2009 Honduras vs. Costa Rica

    2011 Panama vs. Honduras

    Let up hope this will come back.