Copa America Centenario
The Copa América Centenario, referred to in English as the 2016 Centennial Copa America, is taking place in top stadiums around the USA from June 3rd-26th 2016. The competition is a celebration of the centenary of CONMEBOL and Copa América, and is to be the first Copa América hosted outside of South America. It is also a special event, in the middle of the customary four year cycle, and will feature sixteen teams.
Ten of these teams will be drawn from South America – in fact all nations that are members of CONMEBOL namely Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The remainder will represent North American football as and will include the US, Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica with the final two places going to either Panama or Cuba and Haiti or Trinidad & Tobago who will each play-off on January 8th 2016 in Panama.
The seeded nations will be the USA (as the host nation), Brazil and Mexico – chosen for their consistent record over the past 100 years and Argentina as the highest placed CONMEBOL nation in the FIFA rankings. The way the competition will pan out will be quite simple: four groupings each containing a seeded nation will produce a winner and runner up to go forward to the quarter finals, with semi-finals in Houston on June 21st and Chicago on June 22nd leading up to the finals in the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday June 26th.
The Copa América Centenario is a very inviting and exciting tournament in prospect. The infrastructure in the United States is ideal for "mega" events and many visiting countries reap the benefits of crowds, coverage, and support—not just the United States national team. Combining the Copa America, played for South American teams, and the Gold Cup, which features the nations in CONCACAF, eliminates the problems of each tournament while enhancing their respective strengths. Most importantly, it creates a tournament with the sort of scale and star power that could compete with The European Championships.
The seeded nations have plenty of star players. In many people’s views, Argentina will be the favorite and any team that includes Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and Carlos Tevez is always going to command respect. Brazil can put out a team featuring Neymar, David Luiz, Robinho, Kaka and Oscar while Mexico were unbeaten in 2015 with their attack led by Jiminez, Hernandez and Vila but the United States may struggle, judging by recent results not least a 4-1 drubbing by Brazil. What is certain is that people buying tickets can be absolutely guaranteed some electrifying football played in some of the most magnificent stadiums in the world.
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