Imagine a tournament which invites the best teams in North and South America for a summer football festival.
You could even call it the Copa America.
[ MORE: Tuesday’s PL match recaps ]
Joking aside, reports Tuesday say that U.S. Soccer has proposed a big dollar tournament to run at the same time as EURO 2020, guaranteeing a share of $200 million for 16 nations.
It would look a lot like the Copa America Centenario and also guarantee nearly nonstop soccer viewing from near sun-up to sundown in 2020 and oh goodness, let’s do this thing (reporting by the esteemed Andrew Das of the New York Times).
In his letter, a draft of which was seen by The New York Times, Cordeiro took pains to emphasize that the new event would be a singular tournament, and not meant to replace existing events like the Copa América or the Gold Cup, which would continue separately. Conmebol, which will contest this year’s Copa in June and July in Brazil, said last year that it was planning to shift the Copa América to a quadrennial schedule starting in 2020, to coincide with UEFA’s European Championship. Concacaf holds its own regional championship, the Gold Cup, in odd-numbered years; this year’s Gold Cup matches will be played in the United States, Costa Rica and at least one Caribbean nation.
Any such move would supersede the Copa America, and seemingly be a one-off. Or perhaps the USSF views it as a chance to supplant it for good, who knows?
In any event, a U.S. based big tournament where the USMNT can measure up against CONMEBOL powers while preparing for World Cup qualifying? Beats the alternative.
It would be delightful if the Copa America could just come around to including CONCACAF (and the United States) more often, and USSF president Carlos Cordeiro is making a strong play here. Money drives the bus, and the U.S. has the infrastructure to pull off another big money tournament (especially if it were to lower its sometimes outlandish ticket prices for smaller matches).
UPDATE: CONCACAF is into it