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CONCACAF says Copa America Centenario will still be played in USA

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Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Copa America Centenario is still slated to be played in the United States. CONCACAF met with CONMEBOL officials in Mexico City on Thursday and confirmed that the plan for the tournament to go on in the U.S.

U.S. Soccer was originally supposed to attend the meeting, seeing as their country was going to host, but they did not. A report from the New York Times claimed that the organizers had not met all of the requests made by U.S. Soccer to clear them of any potential legal liability in the wake of the U.S. Justice Department's indictments of FIFA officials so the federation did not want to host or participate. And yet, CONCACAF and the organizers are not making plans to host the tournament elsewhere, instead insisting that it will go on in the U.S.

There could be a couple reasons for CONCACAF and COMEBOL pushing to host the tournament in the U.S.:

1. The organizers know that the U.S. still offers them huge financial potential. Whether the U.S. plays or not, and whether U.S. Soccer is involved or not, matches with Mexico, Brazil and Argentina will still sell out massive NFL stadiums at huge prices. Even the likes of Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador and Peru will draw well thanks to their sizable ex-pat population and sponsors will jump at a chance for more exposure to the American market. Playing the tournament in the U.S. is still a moneymaker.

2. Everyone except for the U.S. appears to want the tournament to go on as scheduled and there aren't a ton of great backup plans. The more they talk about the matches being played in the U.S., the more heat falls on U.S. Soccer and maybe that pressures them into finding a compromise that allows the tournament to be played on American soil.

U.S. Soccer can't ban CONCACAF and CONMEBOL from playing the tournament in their country. If they want to do so, it would be a bit awkward, but the organizers can strike their own deals with various stadiums and play Copa America. Right now, that looks like the plan, whether U.S. Soccer gets involved or not.