With the United States Men’s National Team now officially in the next World Cup cycle, they are reportedly close to accepting an invitation to compete in one of the biggest tournaments in the world. According to a Fox Sports Mexico report, the USMNT, along with Canada, are in talks to participate in the 2024 Copa América.
ESTADOS UNIDOS Y CANADÁ SE LE ADELANTAN A MÉXICO PARA JUGAR COPA AMÉRICA 2024— FOX Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX) December 5, 2022
Mientras México se preocupa por un informe en febrero, los otros dos anfitriones del Mundial 2026 no cruzan los brazos
¡Ojo a la info de @fantasmasuarez!#LUP pic.twitter.com/FCdLaiXKGg
Former ESPN and Fox Sports and current LAFC play-by-play announcer Max Bretos went a step further, saying that the USMNT’s participation in South America’s continental tournament is “a done deal.”
Since Conmebol only has 10 teams, it routinely invites teams from other confederations to participate in its tournament, which is generally hosted every 4 years. The USMNT has participated in Copa América 4 times, most recently when it hosted the Copa América Centenario in 2016. It finished 4th in that tournament. They also finished 4th in the 1995 Copa América, while they had group stage exits in 1993 and 2007.
Many fans have clamored for the USMNT to try and enter the 2024 edition of the tournament as a way to get competitive matches against some of the best teams in the world in an effort to prepare to host the 2026 World Cup. Since the USMNT will not have to qualify for the tournament, they will be dependent on Concacaf Nations League, the Concacaf Gold Cup, and friendlies for the most part to get their players prepared for 2026.
There have been rumors that the United States have tried to position themselves to serve as hosts of the 2024 Copa América, just as they did in 2016, to serve as a test run for stadiums that are hosting the World Cup in 2026. However, Conmebol has a rotation among its member nations for who hosts the tournament each time. Ecuador was supposed to be next in the rotation, but last month they decided to drop out of hosting the tournament, which was moved to 2024 in an effort to align with the European Championships. Peru has recently expressed interest in hosting the tournament, which would allow the USMNT to test themselves on the road.
The other hurdle to participating in Copa América is that because it is not in the USMNT’s confederation, clubs would not be required to release American players to compete in the tournament. However, with the USMNT not participating in World Cup qualifying, it would be the job of whoever is the USMNT head coach to sell the clubs on releasing the players it needs to have a good showing in the tournament and try to win it.
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