New York, Los Angeles highlight Copa América Centenario hosts

BY Kyle McCarthy • November 19, 2015

Ten cities will host Copa América Centenario matches next summer, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL revealed on Thursday.

The list includes the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Both venues are strong contenders to stage important matches during the tournament.

Tournament organizers also placed matches at other venues across the United States, including CenturyLink Field (Seattle), Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.), Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia), Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.), NRG Stadium (Houston), Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium (Orlando), Soldier Field (Chicago), University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.).

Each stadium is expected to host matches on multiple days during the tournament (June 3-26) and most of them will stage at least three matches, according to a CONCACAF release.

“These 10 cities and venues will provide a fantastic setting for fans across the world to attend Copa America Centenario and allow them to see the amazing passion for soccer in the United States,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “The participating teams and fans will be treated to a first-class environment in each city and stadium, adding to the world-class talent that will be competing on the field. We are looking forward to working closely with all of the cities and venues in hosting this prestigious event and creating an extraordinary experience for fans.”

Twenty-four cities expressed initial interest in hosting matches earlier this year. The Copa América Local Organizing Committee sifted through those proposals and selected the final 10 venues. The process eventually culled several major metropolitan areas -- including Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, D.C. -- before reaching the final list.

Tournament organizers are expected to lay down temporary grass at several venues in order to make them suitable for the Copa América, including CenturyLink Field and Gillette Stadium.

U.S. Soccer reached an agreement with CONCACAF and CONMEBOL last month to host the one-off tournament to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Copa América next summer. The fate of the tournament hung in the balance after U.S. Department of Justice officials indicted several CONCACAF and CONMEBOL executives earlier this year. U.S. Soccer officials received assurances about the marketing contracts and the governance structures for the tournament before moving forward as hosts.

Sixteen teams -- including all 10 CONMEBOL teams and six CONCACAF representatives -- will compete in the tournament. United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica have already qualified from CONCACAF, while a pair of playoffs -- Trinidad and Tobago vs. Haiti and Panama vs. Cuba -- will determine the final two berths.



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