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CONCACAF in talks to join Copa America for real

Jul 5, 2012, 4:15 PM EDT

Neymar, Michael Parkhurst Getty Images

CONCACAF may join forces with CONMEBOL for the 2016 Copa America, the 100th anniversary of the tournament.

“The discussions today were held in a spirit of genuine cooperation,” Jeffrey Webb, CONCACAF’s new president, said. “I look forward to further talks and building a stronger relationship between our confederations.”


While Mexico and the United States have participated before, it’s been as a “guest.” (And the Americans angered South American officials by sending their B-team to the 2007 event, which pretty much got the Stars and Stripes disinvited 4lyf.)

What would the tournament look like? Grant Wahl offered one scenario in 2010:

CONCACAF changes the Gold Cup to a quadrennial tournament midway between World Cups and sends its four semifinalists (and two best losing quarterfinalists) to join the 10 CONMEBOL teams in the following Copa Américas. (From the results in the last Gold Cup, those six teams would be Mexico, United States, Honduras, Costa Rica, Canada and Guadeloupe.)

Think about that for a second: It’s pretty much a victory for everyone involved. The US and Mexico get excellent competition. Smaller CONCACAF clubs have a chance to shock the world (and prove that CONCACAF is not the wasteland everyone thinks it is). The South American confederation scores television money from the US and Mexico. We Americans, potentially, get to host an event with some of the best teams in the world. We also get more pictures of Pele in a bright red jacket. All sides go home a winner.

One final thought: With the Euro diluting itself by expanding to 24 teams in 2016, the combined Copa America could have a claim as the world’s best/most competitive tournament. You’d likely lose the argument but not by much.

  1. sluggo271 - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I would love this…PERMANENTLY!!

  2. donjuego - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Your suggesting a Gold Cup immediately followed by Copa Panamerica, or America, or whatever?

    Up to six to eight weeks of full-time duty for the US and Mexico national teams? That doesn’t seem reasonable.

    • tylerbetts - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      I think it would be instead of the Gold Cup. You’d take the top performers from the previous Gold Cup. So, if this were to be a Copa Panamerica for 2013, you’d use the top six from Gold Cup 2011.

      • sdbeisbol - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        It would be interesting if they used the Gold Cup as a “qualification tournament”. For the Euros you have to qualify right?

    • mikeevergreen - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      Actually, no. The next CONCACAF gold cup is 2015. The Copa Panamerica is 2016.

  3. tylerbetts - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    I don’t like this idea.

    I love it.

  4. lost47 - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    This could be pretty awesome.

  5. slxc - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Of course the idea is excellent, La copa america needs first world scenarios, I just hope that Guatemala ‘s there.

  6. mikeevergreen - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    I. CAN’T. WAIT!

    Why should the Euro-peons get all the in-between Cup glory?

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