The summer of 2020 is going to be a busy one in world of soccer with Euro 2020 and the Copa America starting to run on a four-year cycle. But where does that leave the United States men’s national team? The U.S. Soccer Federation has tried to cement plans to host a competition that summer involving CONMEBOL, but the South American federation has rejected the invitation for 2020, it announced. Instead, Copa America 2020 will be hosted by Argentina and Colombia. So what’s next? Here’s what to know.
What are the current plans?
There are no current plans when it comes to something being finalized. The U.S. currently has an open summer schedule for next year, but they are doing what they can to ensure they play one way or another. While the U.S. will continue to work toward hosting a tournament as it, it doesn’t seem like it will include any of the teams from South America with their rejection. And with Euro 2020, that would likely leave potential teams being from Africa, Asia and one would expect perhaps teams from Europe that didn’t qualify for Euro.
Could a tournament in the U.S. still happen?
It could still happen, but without having the biggest teams in South America involved, it likely won’t create as much buzz. USSF president Carlos Cordeiro told ESPN that the USSF proposal for a Copa America Centenario-like tourney is still on the table.
“Our invitation is still valid. No doors are closed as of yet,” Cordeiro said. “We would like there to be an open, honest conversation about ways in which our two confederations can all come together about the long-term viability of an event that we can play in each other’s territories over many years.”
The proposal from the U.S. included guaranteeing CONMEBOL and its teams a total of $90 million, with each team set to make at least $4 million in addition to prize money.
CONMEBOL also announced that it has rejected proposals from Australia and businesses looking to put on tournaments such as IMG, and they are all in on hosting their competition and not being involved in others.
What about the U.S. playing in the Copa America?
USSF has not received a formal invitation for any 2020 tournament, CBS Sports has learned. The Americans have participated in four editions of Copa America, including 1993, 1995, 2007 and 2016 as hosts. While the USSF is open to discussing all options, the priority appears to be to host some sort of competition. The initial plan for CONMEBOL was to have have 16 teams broken into four groups, but that appears to have changed. Instead the 2020 Copa America will have 12 teams (10 from CONMEBOL and two guest nations) broken into two groups. It remains to be seen if the format stays the same for future Copa Americas. If it does, then that leaves only two spots for non-CONMEBOL teams like the USMNT to receive an invite, as opposed to six spots in the previous 16-team format.
So what we have here is South American finalizing plans for its 2020 Copa America, with the USSF looking to primarily have a tournament of its own to join a busy summer of international soccer.
You can watch Copa America 2019 and the 2019 Gold Cup on fuboTV (Try for free).