Decision looming on proposed Copa America in USA

JeffreyWebbCONCACAF1 (CONCACAF)

By DAN KARELL

A proposed United States hosted Copa America is closer to becoming a reality.

To mark CONMEBOL’s 100th anniversary in 2016, the South American soccer confederation is working with CONCACAF to bring the internationally known tournament to the U.S. In an interview with NASN, CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb gave an update on the status of the proposed tournament, which is rumored to include the ten CONMEBOL nations and six more sides from CONCACAF.

“We are in discussion with CONMEBOL for a number of weeks now, and we are looking at CONMEBOL’s centennial anniversary, Copa America, which will be in 2016,” Webb said. “We’re engaging with them to see what’s best fit for their confederation and for our confederation.”

Though on paper it looks like a terrific idea, Webb admitted that there are still issues being worked through. One of the biggest issues is that the tournament isn’t currently on the FIFA calender, meaning that many of the stars eligible to play in the tournament may not be released by their clubs.

In addition, the tournament would come one summer after the regularly scheduled Copa America in 2015, and just two years after the World Cup in Brazil.

“It would be great if it was just a matter of naming ten teams or 6 teams and playing a game, but there’s various commercial agreements and various things to work through,” Webb said. “So we’re trying to work through that, but from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, this is something that we both want to see happen.”

Despite the issues, Webb sounded confident that the two confederations were close to an agreement. If the tournament does occur, give the USMNT the opportunity to play the South American nations in competitive matches at home.

“We’re just trying to wait until we get through various agreements with various people working on (the proposed tournament) on behalf of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL,” Webb said. We’re hoping that perhaps in a few weeks we’ll be able to announce a formalized agreement with both CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.”

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What do you think of this news? Do you see this becoming a reality? Do you believe this is a good idea for CONCACAF and CONMEBOL?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, International Soccer, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Decision looming on proposed Copa America in USA

  1. blokhin says:

    this would somewhat help to offset the loss of WC 2022 and Olympics 2016

    • McQ says:

      I think you may be on to something. This could be the payback from Blatter for selling the next two World Cups to the highest bidder then bait-and-switching the “voters” rather than letting the most qualified prepared countries host.

    • jlm says:

      or it is as simple as concacaf and conmebol both having a ton of money to gain from joining in a tournament like this

      • THomas says:

        Close. They only have money to gain if the US hosts and participates. I assume it will run concurrent to EURO 2016 so getting players released wont be an issue. Well have EURO games during the day then Copa games at night. What a summer!

  2. AcidBurn says:

    Sounds wonderful, but if it is not on the FIFA calendar, stop there. Otherwise it will be a b-team tournament as the European squads will not release their players, especially after giving them up in 2014 for the WC and 2015 for the Copa America.

    • Mister JC says:

      Considering that this is the 100th Anniversary of this cup, and that clubs release their players for the Euros that same summer, it would be very unwise for FIFA to let this opportunity pass. This tournament needs to happen…

      • falsify says:

        I think it should be recognized by FIFA and if so it should coincide with EURO competition in Europe. Imagine having EURO games in the morning, and then COPA America games in the evening. Nothing would get done for weeks.

      • Modibo says:

        Not sure UEFA wants CONMEBOL to steal their thunder. Also, I imagine the Euro club directors blowing a collective gasket at losing their Euro AND N&SA players for preseason, risking injury and exhaustion… they’ll pressure UEFA to oppose this tooth and nail, regardless of any imagined payback for FIFA’s corrupt, shameless, and incompetent decisions on WC hosts for ’18 and ’22.

  3. Mysterious J says:

    This HAS TO happen…should be enough money to go around.

    • picka says:

      it’s all about money not a tournament.why would you play big tournament every year.it really doesn’t make any sens, except money of course.

  4. rocky says:

    hopefully FIFA will approve it and the A players from each country will play… Could be a turning point for the popularity of the sport in this country

    • picka says:

      you that naive? lol

    • Gnarls says:

      It’s a fact that Americans love major sporting events. The Olympics are among the most-watched television events in the country. The World Cup gets big TV ratings, but not Olympic-sized. Having a massive soccer tourney on US soil (with proper promotion and advertising) would be good for the sport’s popularity, but it wouldn’t change the general feelings of apathy many American’s feel toward soccer in the long term.

  5. KungFuSoccer says:

    This must happen. Where can I send my deposit.

  6. Old School says:

    Hurry up and take my money.

  7. Jawaad says:

    Does this coincide with the Euro tournament? If FIFA recognizes that and A-teamers are allowed to participate, I’d imagine FIFA would recognize this Americas Tournament and allow A-teamers to participate.

    This would be incredible though. Imagine getting truly tested by the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, etc, instead of facing the same collection of Belize and Cubas in various formats as a run up to the World Cup. For purely selfish reasons and the betterment of the USA soccer program, we should do all that we can to get this tournament to happen.

    • wandmdave says:

      Even better make it a permanent 4 year fixture to compete with the Euros.

      • Brett says:

        Yes. Make it a 4 year cycle. Use the off-year Gold Cup as a qualification round for the “true” Copa America, which will feature the quarterfinal participants from the Copa Oro and the Copa Sudamerica tournaments held concurrently on a staggered 4 year cycle.

        If they coordinate it with the UEFA tournament, it could essentially be like having two World Cups every 4 years. They could also do a similar two-tourney format for Afro-Asia/Oceania as well.

  8. MikeG says:

    Definitely something I would save some cash for. There will be games in the LA area for sure.

  9. beto says:

    oya book it!

    they will certainly have their hands full changing everyones schedule.. should have scheduled it in this cycle as SA had less games and more qualifying spots because brazil was not part of qualifying

    • Joe says:

      This would be great! An Americas comparison to the Euros and a top notch tournament to quench our thirst in between the four year World Cup cycle. Europe does it why can’t we? If sponsors would jump all over this, it would be amazing.

      • Lost in Space says:

        Sponsorship of a tournament like this will not be a problem.
        Nike, Adidas, Bud, and others would be all over this…so long as it is a FIFA approved event, where the players are released from club duties.
        FIFA should want to do this as well, considering how much crap they give the US & Canada for not promoting the game in North America.

  10. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Do whatcha gotta do tah make dizzz happen. Herez my monies.. $$$

  11. vincent says:

    If this thing happen it’ll make so much money that FIFA will automatically give the US the next world cup up for bid

  12. Pingunça says:

    They will be going up against EURO 2016?

    • beto says:

      EURO 2016 in the morning, COPA 2016 in the afternoon = next best thing to the WC

    • Gnarls says:

      It would only be an issue for fans wishing to travel to Europe for the Euros. Game times would be 5-8 hours apart, which could create the perfect opportunity for massive viewing parties inside American stadia. Imagine thousands of fans at the stadium to watch Spain vs. Portugal on a big screen, and then watch the main event live soon after.

  13. bryan says:

    would love to see this happen for obvious reasons. hope they can work it out so A teams come.

  14. Spit Dismal says:

    CONCACAf sides obviously being USA, Mexico and probably Canada and Costa Rica. How would the next two be selected? Butts in seats (El Salvador, Hondorus) or quality (Panama). I can imagine you’d have to have at least one Caribbean nation like Jamaica or T&T in there as well. Could get messy.

    • beto says:

      top six (group winners + runners up) from the previous year’s gold cup.

      if it was this year’s would be USA, CR, HON, ELS/TT, MEX, PAN

    • Falsify says:

      Why would you assume Canada? They can’t even beat Martinique.

      • KCHog says:

        You would assume Canada because of $$. Hard to imagine one of the wealthier countries in the Americas being left out of the tournament.

  15. Joe dirt says:

    If both Confederations can get this truly FIFA approved it could rival Euros in popularity and more importantly TV dollars. This version in 2016 might just be the begininng to prove the concept to FiFA. Imagine having a true Copa America that coincides with Euros every four years. Conmebol an Concacaf are smart they know the huge potential of a combined tournament and will have ESPN, FOX and NBC competing for the TV and sponsorship rights. The first one in 2016 might have some hiccups but lets support this 100%
    .

    • Joe says:

      I searched for your post because I knew someone else had already recognized the long-term potential of this. The Euros are easily the biggest football tournament not called The World Cup. This combined tournament would intstantly rival the EC (not surpass it, clearly) and give CONMEBOL and CONCACAF a little more sway with FIFA.
      On top of those benefits, a tournament of this caliber would no doubt help prepare some of the nations from these two confederations that consistently qualify for the World Cup, but fail to advance out of the group stages or win in the knockout rounds.

  16. beto says:

    i hope they work it out and install this into every cycle and scrap the second gold cup.

    Year1- Gold Cup (winner to Confed Cup + top 6 to Copa) + Preliminary Qualifiers
    Year2- Copa Giante + Early Round Qualifiers
    Year3- Hex Qualifiers + Confed Cup
    Year4- World Cup

    the tricky part is South America would probably have to move a few of their qualifier dates around (earlier)

    • unbeknownst says:

      +1

      I like this schedule breakdown.

      However, there has to be an intensive for teams to win “Copa Giante.” Perhaps there could be a World Cup invitation or at the very least a Confederations Cup invite.

      Plus the only way CONCACAF would agree to this tournament, in lieu of a second Gold Cup tournament, would be if it was held only in the US, so they could sell the most tickets to all matches at the highest price.

    • wandmdave says:

      Love it, but I wouldn’t mind keeping the 2nd Gold Cup in year 3 (maybe renamed to something else?) as a B-team tourney to give experience and tryouts to our up and comers/fringe players. Also so CONCACAF and US Soccer keep that revenue stream.

      • wandmdave says:

        This would really make those first two years of the WC cycle much more interesting for CONCACAF teams and fans.

    • Frank says:

      Yes, let’s get rid of club teams and competitions and only have national sides compete against each other with more tournaments–Spring Cup, Summer Cup, Fall Cup and Winter Cup plus Gold Cup, World Cup, Confed Cup etc.

  17. AJ Striker says:

    I like this format.

    Year 1 – Confederations Cup
    Year 2 – World Cup
    Year 3 – Separate Copa America Qualification for Concacaf and Conembol via regional tournaments with winners going to next confed cup.
    Year 4 – Unified Copa America (10 from south America and 6 from North America (US Mexico auto) at same time as Euro.

    Non stop action.

    • Enos says:

      Good idea AJ. As long as CONCACAF can still make good money, they’d probably agree to it. Problem is that having a Gold Cup every 3 years does fairly well for the confed.

  18. Ron says:

    Make.

    It.

    So.

  19. CW in LA says:

    It would be massive amounts of fun; I hope it happens.

  20. PD says:

    A cycle that has year 1 as a World Cup year, year 2 as a multi-conference cup year (concacaf + comnebol; caf, afc and ofc; uefa in it’s own since it’s so big already) year three as a conference cup (gold cup) and year 3 as a Confed cup and invitationals for those not in the Confed.

  21. ed - houston says:

    eliminate a gold cup cycle and add 4 concacaf countries (not 6) to copa america. CCL for clubs will remain the same , so would Libertadores, no changes made business as usual at club level.

    • Edwin in LA says:

      You want a fourteen team tournament? That makes no sense…It has to be 16 because that way you have four groups of four.Not to mention it helps more countries in CONCACAF.

  22. Jacknut says:

    I hate to be the wet blanket here, but I can’t see this happening, at least in the proposed 10+6 format. The benefit is clear for the Big Two – the US and Mexico, and reasonably so for CONCACAF’s Next Two – Costa Rica and Honduras. But for everyone else, it’s a total loss. There are about 7 countries – Jamaica, T&T, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Canada, Panama for whom the Gold Cup is extremely important, both from a sporting and financial perspective. The proposed 10+6 format will seriously hurt those teams, effectively forcing them to qualify for two spots while competing with all of the other CONCACAF countries.

    A 8+8 format, or even an open qualification process would be far more preferable. I would love love love to see this happen, but the politics are far more complicated than we would assume.

  23. Gnarls says:

    Run it at the same time as Euro 2016. The game time won’t conflict. In fact, American stadia could even hold Euro viewing parties before Copa games. This is a big opportunity. Hopefully CONCACAF and CONMEBOL take advantage.

  24. Phx_dog says:

    How would this “jive” with the Olympics in Brazil in 2016? Top national u-23 players would probably be held out of a Copa America if they are in the Olympics and a handful of senior national teamers…and the effect on MLS scheduling…shut down for 4 weeks?

  25. ffc says:

    Ok so,

    Year 1 (example: 2015) = The Already Scheduled CONCACAF GOLD CUP (with the top 6 qualifying for a United Copa America in 2016 and the champion representing Concacaf in the Confederations Cup) + Conmebol having their own Conmebol-exclusive COPA AMERICA 2015 in Chile like already scheduled to determine Confed Cup Representative

    Year 2 (example: 2016) = EURO 2016 + UNITED COPA AMERICA (with the incorporation of the Copa America top 6 eliminating the redundancy of another silly Gold Cup thanks to the fact that the money lost on not doing another Gold Cup will be recovered by the massiveness of a United Copa America)

    Year 3 (example: 2017) = CONFEDERATIONS CUP

    Year 4 (example: 2018) = WORLD CUP climax

    –Restart Cycle–

    Year 1 (example 2019) = CONCACAF GOLD CUP to determine Confed Cup Representative (with all the regular little countries and stuff because we don’t want to leave them out) + CONMEBOL COPA AMERICA to determine Confed Cup Representative (with both tourneys being a good chance for young players to make their case)

    Year 2 (example 2020) = EURO 2020 + UNITED COPA AMERICA (replacing another silly Gold Cup)

    Year 3 (example 2021) = CONFEDERATIONS CUP

    Year 4 (example 2022) = WORLD CUP Climax

    –Restart Cycle–

    The United Copa America could be named “America’s Cup” starting in 2020 after the 2016 Copa America Centenary… That would be amazing!

  26. Carlos E. Pimentel says:

    Copa America in USA will be a WNNER.