Remember when we thought that the centennial edition of the Copa América might be played in Mexico? How about when we ended up right back where we started a few days later, when Director of Marketing and Communications for CONCACAF Jürgen Mainka confirmed that the championship would take place in the U.S.?
Well, good news! After plenty of back and forth, we not only have a host country, we have ten metro area stadiums – each of which underwent intense scrutiny regarding its seating capacity and other world-class infrastructural requirements – set to help organize the historic tournament.
The stadium list reads as follows:
Boston (Gillette Stadium), Chicago (Soldier Field), Houston (NRG Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium), Orlando (Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), Phoenix (University of Phoenix Stadium), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium), and Seattle (CenturyLink Field).
In a press release sent out earlier today, CONCACAF President Alfredo Hawit stated that these ten host cities will “provide the perfect stage to unite the American continents in a unique celebration of the football history and talent in the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL regions.” He went on to add that the confederation is “certain that the host country and the U.S. Soccer Federation, in their roles, will not only display the growing passion for the sport, but also contribute to expanding the legacy and magnitude of this tournament by providing a memorable experience for the whole footballing community.”
Let the hype start building! The teams set to compete are all but settled, with the exception of two CONCACAF spots to be determined in a January 2016 double-header playoff (Trinidad & Tobago vs. Haiti and Panama vs. Cuba). The U.S. and Mexico qualified automatically, with Costa Rica (Central American Cup winner), and Jamaica (CFU Caribbean Cup winner) earning spots through regional championships last year. The sides from South America consist of the same ten we’ve seen in action over the past couple months: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Next June is going to be so sweet.