The United States will host the 2024 Copa America, which will once again feature six guest nations as part of a new "strategic collaboration agreement" announced by CONMEBOL and CONCACAF on Friday.
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Copa America last came to the U.S., in the summer of 2016 for Copa America Centenario, the 100-year celebration of the South American championship.
Back in 2016, the USMNT and Mexico were not required to qualify for the tournament, but the CONCACAF giants will not be given an automatic bid to Copa America 2024. They will also be forced to qualify as one of six CONCACAF through the 2023-24 Nations League. Previously, the other four bids from CONCACAF were awarded via various regional tournaments and and qualifying playoffs.
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The CONMEBOL-CONCACAF partnership also extends to the women's game, where the Gold Cup is being revamped.
2024 Copa America: What does it mean for USMNT?
First things first, it means playing more high-level, competitive games between World Cups. The USMNT has faced the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and other South American nations in friendlies over the years, but as things stand their only competitive fixtures come against CONCACAF competition - the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying.
The timing of the tournament is beneficial for all national teams involved as well, at the halfway point to the 2026 World Cup - also set to be hosted in the United States (and Mexico and Canada) - just as EURO 2024 is the halfway marker for European nations. The 2023 Gold Cup is still on the schedule for this summer, with the final to be played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Only time will tell if the combined Copa America will become the new norm in the Americas, but given what we know about the profitability of international soccer, there will certainly be a "cross your fingers and hope all goes well" vibe in 2024.
2024 Copa America to be played in USA originally appeared on NBCSports.com
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