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Clint Dempsey wants USMNT to push for a trophy in 2016 Copa America

Jul 19, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT

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It may be two years away, but Clint Dempsey is already excited for the 2016 Copa America. The tournament is normally held in South America, pitting the best teams from the continent against one another, but in 2016 the United States will play host. And Dempsey thinks they should push for the win.

Speaking to ESPN FC about the United States’ chances in the tournament, Dempsey said, “It will be difficult but at the same time, anything is possible. On home soil, you want to make it count.”

The forward also mentioned that the competition will be an excellent opportunity to continue to grow soccer in the United States. Along with the 10 members of South American confederation CONMEBOL, there will be six other countries participating. The U.S. and Mexico have both been invited. The 2014 Caribbean Cup winner will join them, as will the winner of the Copa Centroamericana, another competition the United States plays host to, this September. The final two CONCACAF participants will be awarded a place after the 2015 Gold Cup.

Getting to see some of the best teams, and players, from the Western Hemisphere should continue to raise enthusiasm for soccer in the United States. Having a successful team could send that enthusiasm through the roof. And Dempsey promises the USMNT will push themselves, putting their best on display:

The team continues to show that we’re getting better. It’s exciting to be able to test ourselves in that competition and seeing what we’re able to accomplish. But that’s something that you have to be pushing for especially because you don’t get many opportunities to play in competitions like that.

  1. lorenzo463 - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    The United States needs to try to play its way into a seed for 2018. A seeded United States might have a clear path to winning its group. A non-seeded United States is probably looking at another group of death. Seeding is based on FIFA rankings, and the best way to climb in those rankings is to get results in competitive matches. 2016 is a huge opportunity to do that on home soil. First things first, go out and win the Gold Cup next summer to avoid a playoff for the Confederations Cup. But then send the strongest team possible to the 2016 Copa America, and play to win.

    • jslip1 - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      There’s no reason why we can’t give it a good run.

  2. nextmanup81 - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Well said Lorenzo. If Switzerland could do it for the 2014 Cup, the US can do it in 2018.

    • jenrodgers90 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:10 AM

      How did Switzerland do it? I never understood why they were a seed without qualifying for the 2012 Euro or making to the 2010 knockout stage.

      • lorenzo463 - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        First, they went undefeated in WC qualification. Second, they played few friendlies leading up to the cup, and only against quality opposition. Compare to Italy, which played a few friendlies against the likes of Haiti and San Marino. Winning a friendly against a low ranked team will bring your score down, as your score is based on the average number of points you earn in each full international you play, and you don’t earn many points for beating San Marino. Finally, avoiding the Euro and elimination rounds can be a blessing for your score if you are likely to lose in those games. You don’t get any points for qualifying, but a loss still counts as a 0 in your final score. (The United States and any other team that made it to the final 16 and lost the first game would have been better off finishing in third from a rankings perspective.) So a combination of lots of wins, few losses as a result of fewer competitive games played, and few friendlies against teams that will likely bring your score down.

  3. handsofsweed - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Man, I can’t wait for them to announce the host cities for both tournaments.

  4. dkalev - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    I feel like there’s first: the World Cup and second : the euros… After that it trickles down and no one really cares anymore

    • braxtonrob - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Confederations Cup has to be on par with the Euros, come on.

  5. Vnice - Jul 19, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Considering the Euro’s have no importance to the USMNT, this tournament is extremely important.

  6. mazblast - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Clint Dempsey wants the US to push for a trophy in the 2016 Copa America.

    First question–Is there ever a competition in which our team (or any other team) DOESN’T push for a trophy? If so, what, and why? Are they merely there for the prestigious and much-coveted Certificate of Participation?

    Second–Were they considering not pushing for a trophy, and now that Dempsey has said they should, they may change their minds?

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