OT: US to host 2016 Copa America!!!

Submitted by superstringer on May 1st, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Yeah yet more soccer news!

Announced today that USA will host the 2016 Copa America -- but a special version of it.  Copa America is the SOUTH American championship, every 4 years -- Brazil, Argentina, etc.  Usually has very compelling matches.  US has participated as a "guest" in the past, but not the last 10 yrs or so (at least).  It's held on a rotating basis around the South American countries.

The 2016 is the 100 ANNIVERSARY of the Copa.  So to celebrate, what else, they are leaving South America entirely.  They will hold it in the US, and besides 10 South American teams, they'll add USA, Mexico, and 4 North American / Carribbean teams.

On top of that, it'll be held the same time as the 2016 Euro (Europe's similar competition).  Will jam the TVs with compelling games.

This will be a really huge event when it gets here.

http://www.espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1803812/united-states-host-combined-2016-copa-america-centenario?cc=5901

Comments

Mr. Yost

May 1st, 2014 at 9:44 PM ^

I'm going to Brazil this summer, can't wait...I look forward to seeing these games in a couple years weather I'm in attendance or not. Should be awesome for the cities that are hosting.

Random note while watching the NBA Playoffs tonight. This about this.

What if Nik Stauskas played for the OKC Thunder?! Thabo Sefolosha is a great defender, but he SUCKS offensively. Stauskas is okay defensively, but he'd take care of all of the offensive lapses that they have when they can't score because they don't have a consistent 3rd offensive option. Stauskas and Sefolosha make a nice combo at SG and give OKC an offensive minded 3rd option they haven't had since Harden.

Anyway...yea, soccer. Sweet!

bacon1431

May 2nd, 2014 at 2:39 PM ^

If it's any old regular season game, I'd agree. But the defense is very tough down the stretch for playoff spots and in the playoffs it's very hard as well. If Stauskas does not improve his defense to at least a passable level (which I think he will with increased focus), he'd get nothing better than situational minutes on a playoff team.

CorkyCole

May 1st, 2014 at 11:45 PM ^

If the Thunder pick up Stauskas, I will buy season tickets.

Even though Stauskas is NJAS, he would give the Thunder a weapon they currently are lacking. Golly gee whiz do I hope this happens!

jmblue

May 2nd, 2014 at 11:17 AM ^

I can't envision the Euro's being held in North Africa, which is basically the same idea.

It would be more like the opposite (the African federation playing in Europe) - a poorer region hosting its tournament in a rich country.

stephenrjking

May 2nd, 2014 at 1:06 PM ^

I have to wonder if the Olympics in Brazil had anything to do with this. Seems like a stretch, since South America is a lot more than Brazil, but while it's a nice move to include more North American teams (I am all in favor of turning the contest into a hemispherical championship to parallel the Euro) it certainly is odd to move it to the US for an anniversary edition.

Perhaps this is a "for the brand" type move. Let me explain:

CONMEBOL, in this scenario, may want to expand the profile of the tournament. It certainly has legit teams and the European championships are a huge deal, so there's grounds to do this. It's an anniversary year, so it's a perfect chance to really pump things up. How better than to get both the US and Mexico, as well as other North American teams, who can bring both viewers and international profile?

So they start spinning the wheels. They suggest it to the US officials, say. "How about joining us for a huge Pan-American championship." US: "Sure, what do you have in mind?" CON: "Well, we could have the Copa America in Argentina..." US: "HA HA HA HA YOU'RE KIDDING RIGHT?"

Argentina, of course, has serious economic problems right now. It is quite possible that other S. American countries simply aren't equipped for a serious, credible international tournament of this caliber, at least one that the US and Mexico would commit their teams to for two or three weeks.

So Brazil would be the logical choice... except they'll be kinda busy with the Olympics, and it's a let-down after the World Cup.

So, to get their big tournament with the big names, they go to the one place that has every facility and every piece of infrastructure already in place: Here.

And they'll get fans. San Fran, LA, Glendale, "North Texas," Houston, Miami. Chicago and New York if you'd like. Venues that aren't used in the summer that have everything they need, and plenty of fans nearby. 

I like it.

Genzilla

May 1st, 2014 at 11:22 PM ^

The inability to easily have a FIFA regulation size field is a problem, the ManU Real game will be played on a non-regulation size field because it's a friendly.  Building a platform to put a full size pitch on would be a pain and probably only worth it for a World Cup.

stephenrjking

May 2nd, 2014 at 1:11 PM ^

"Among the stadiums being considered..."

There are dozens and dozens of qualified venues. I would expect this to be a very incomplete, very provisional list. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see Chicago get a bid, unless they try to concentrate the venues into geographic "hubs" for travel and fan attention purposes. In that scenario, Florida, the Acela corridor, and California/Arizona/Texas would get more priority. 

The inclusion of Stanford Stadium and the Citrus Bowl would suggest that they are considering just that possibility. 

alum96

May 1st, 2014 at 10:45 PM ^

Just a small correction to OP - this tourney will run Jun 3 to Jun 26, while Euros will start Jun 10 and finish in Jul 10, so not total overlap but for 16 days it's going to be intense soccer overload. 

 

UM Fan in Nashville

May 1st, 2014 at 11:23 PM ^

I know I'm a bit biased, but having a match or two in Nashville would be a HUGE success.  Soccer following here is HUGE.   There's been talk of using the Titans Stadium to house a MLS team strictly because the USMNT and USWNT friendlys have been so successful.   Plus, I'd love it for my own personal enjoyment.

This is awesome news!  

LandryHD

May 2nd, 2014 at 12:06 AM ^

This isn't the actual Copa, its not FIFA regulated. The one that matters is in 2015. They are saying that the B squads from the powerhouses will most likely compete. Still nice to have some extra soccer in the US

 

EDIT: But they are trying to make it FIFA regulated

Helloheisman

May 2nd, 2014 at 7:22 AM ^

But, give us the 2022 World Cup we were robbed of. Instead of sending it to Qatar where they might have to play the first ever wold cup in the winter b/c summers a radically hot. Duh

bacon1431

May 2nd, 2014 at 10:09 AM ^

I am completely fine with a World Cup in the winter. Yeah, it will mess with most of the big leagues around the globe, but so what? It's every four years and the other leagues have survived despite the WC interrupting their seasons every four years (granted, MLS, Tippeligaen, Allsvenskan etc don't have the top international players like La Liga, EPL, Serie A and others have). Countries shoudln't be excluded because of geography IMO. The World Cup is something the entire world enjoys. Things outside of the nation's control shouldn't be the deciding factor.

The reason I'm against Qatar is because of infrastructure. I'm against having it in a country like Brazil as well. If you're having to build completely new facilities and move people out of slums to build them, I've got a problem with that. It sucks, but only nations with stable economies should have their bids accepted. The tourism isn't going to be a boon for the lower classes in Brazil, South Africa etc as tourists are mostly going to stay in the tourist districts. It will help the upper middle class and upper classes, not lower middle and lower classes. It probably hurts them more than anything.

I think the best thing would be to have a region host a World Cup. If they can have a WC in the USA, Brazil and Russia with that widespread travel, they could do it in regions. It would put less pressure on a single country to have 10 viable stadiums and other necessary facilities. Travel b/w countries might be a problem for fans, but I think regional WC would be the best option for everybody. JMO

jmblue

May 2nd, 2014 at 3:32 PM ^

Countries shoudln't be excluded because of geography IMO.

I think excluding a country for geographic reasons is perfectly fine. In fact, I think that's probably fairer than excluding countries for political or cultural reasons (which can open up charges of hypocrisy). Geography is pretty cut and dried. The World Cup is a summer event and in Qatar it's too hot in the summer - end of story.

bacon1431

May 2nd, 2014 at 5:28 PM ^

No reason why it has to be a summer event. Brasil's professional leagues interrupt their season for the World Cup every time. No reason that the big European leagues can't. It's a worldwide event. Not a summer event. If a country that is tolerable in one season puts together a good bid and has the infrastructure to put on such an event, I see no reason why it can't be held in winter, spring, summer or fall. All you have to do is call for the event to be held then.

Again, I have more of a problem with countries that have a significant poor population that is vulnerable to such a grand event hosting the World Cup than I do with changing the season of the event. Only having it in one season rules out entire regions of the world for a silly reason IMO.

Now I highly highly doubt it is changed to another season, and my proposal is probably too idealistic.

bacon1431

May 2nd, 2014 at 10:27 AM ^

I'm hoping the Gold Cup goes to the wayside and CONCACAF and CONMEBOL due a total Copa America every four years together. It would be great for the US as it's going to raise the bar for our players and youth systems to produce competitive teams because we'll be going up against Brazil and Argentina. And players that have dual citizenship with the US and ____ European country might start to lean our way more as we can say "you'll play against Brazil."

jmblue

May 2nd, 2014 at 11:14 AM ^

The next step is for us to leave CONCACAF and join CONMEBOL, the South American federation, so we can actually compete in this.  CONCACAF doesn't offer enough competition.  Put us in CONMEBOL and we may not qualify for the World Cup as often, but we'll be far better prepared when we do.

 

MichiganTeacher

May 2nd, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

Honestly:

94 - Advanced out of the pool to the round of 16; lose to Brazil 1 - 0 in last game; finish 14/32

98 - Terrible WC, done after the group stage, 32 out of 32, boo Steve Sampson, the Wayne Fontes of Soccer.

02 - Advanced out of the pool, win a game over rival Mexico, make the quarterfinals of the tournament, lose 1-0 to Germany, finish 8/32

06 - Bad WC, done after the group stage, finish 25/32, boo Claudio 'Captain Giveaway' Reyna.

10 - Won our group, advanced to round of 16 only to lose to Ghana again to set up FIFA's dream media storyline group in 2014, finish 12/32. 

So our average finish over the past twenty years has been around 18/32, and that's in spite of some arguably very bad draws and one horrible coaching selection. In this millennium, our average finish has been in the top half of the tournament. That's pretty decent, I'd say, and trending in the right direction.

If you're just looking to maximize WC output, I think you're far better served to stay in CONCACAF and make the tournament every time, gaining the maximum possible number of chances to do well, than to switch to CONMEBOL, make the tournament half the number of times, and hope for greater impact because you came through a tougher qualifying process. A tougher qualifying process and not making the tournament a few times arguably would decrease soccer quality in the US due to fans apathy and a void on the national stage.

tl;dr - Moving to CONMEBOL = BAD BAD BAD.

 

jmblue

May 2nd, 2014 at 2:53 PM ^

Outside of 2002, that's a "meh" record at best.  

If we ever want to be an actual WC contender, I don't think it's going to happen playing in CONCACAF. We just don't face enough high-quality competition in it.  There are way too many games against the likes of St. Kitts, Costa Rica, Suriname and the rest.  It makes qualifying for the WC easy, but doesn't prepare us to play the big boys.  Mexico is in the same boat.  They've qualified for umpteen WCs in a row but never make it past the round of 16 despite having a lot of talent. 

If the powers that be wanted to merge the two federations in the Americas into one with like eight WC bids or whatever, I'd be okay with that.  We just need more competiton that we're currently getting.  Make us play Brazil and Argentina on a regular basis and we'll be prepared for anyone.