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SBD/April 11, 2014/Events and AttractionsPrint All
U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati on Friday morning addressed a report indicating the U.S. will host the '16 Copa America soccer tournament, writing on his Twitter feed, "CopaAmerica 2016 in U.S.? Interesting idea but nothing agreed to by @ussoccer yet" (TWITTER.com, 4/11). In the original report, BEINSPORTS.tv's Phil Schoen cited a source as saying that an official announcement that the event will be coming to the U.S. "is imminent and could happen as early as May 1." The tournament -- which has never been held outside of South America up to now -- "has been in the planning stages for years as part of the 100th anniversary of the first Copa America and the founding of CONMEBOL, South America's governing body for soccer." Original plans "had the tournament taking place" in both the U.S. and Mexico. However, a source said that the decision "has been made that the U.S. will host" alone. Sources said that there was "no confirmation" on the stadiums that will be used. All 10 national teams from South America "will participate," as well as the U.S., Mexico and four additional CONCACAF teams. A "logistical hurdle" lies in the fact that the tournament "will fall in the heart of the MLS season." While that has "hampered U.S. participation in the Copa America in the past, in recent years the league has even embraced midseason friendlies" with int'l teams. The tournament also will "likely conflict with the start of a new Apertura season in Mexico's Liga MX." The tournament "would be the biggest sporting event held in the U.S." since the '02 Winter Olympics and the "most prestigious soccer event" since the '94 FIFA World Cup (BEINSPORTS.tv, 4/10).