It looks like Copa America Centenario might be played in the United States after all. ESPNFC understand that progress has been made in negotiations between U.S. Soccer, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL to host the tournament in the summer of 2016 where it was originally intended. The announcement could come as soon as Friday.
The special edition of Copa America was originally planned to be played in the U.S., with all 10 South American countries, the U.S., Mexico and four other CONCACAF nations. Deals were agreed to and they were fielding bids from stadiums to host the matches. Those venues were supposed to be announced in May, but that month, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted several FIFA officials, including those from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. Ever since, the competition has been in doubt.
As recently as a month ago, the tournament looked set to be played outside the U.S. and without Jurgen Klinsmann's team. A meeting in Mexico City went on without U.S. Soccer representatives, who were concerned about sports marketing company Datista's ownership of the commercial rights. Datista's assets had been frozen by the Department of Justice as part of their investigation.
ESPNFC report that the final for Copa America would be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, with MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ hosting a semifinal.
Copa America would be a huge tournament for the U.S. Not only would it be the biggest men's soccer competition on American soil since the 1994 World Cup and build incredible excitement around the spot and team, but it would also be big for the team. The U.S. plays so few big, competitive matches outside of the World Cup, but this would give them at least three of them, and more if they get out of the group stage. In terms of growing the team, and providing a real measure of how good they are, this would be the best the U.S. has outside of the World Cup.