Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Copa America 2024: Messi, Vinicius Jr, Bielsa, Brazil, Argentina, USA

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South America’s continental championship will be played in the United States.

And six of the 16 teams are from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

It was also the same for the special edition 2016 Copa America Centenario – but this is the first regular staging of the tournament to be played outside of the continent.

Many of the host cities are in southern states such as California, Texas and Florida – but there are stadia further north too including in New Jersey.

The tournament is being seen as preparation for the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States – along with Canada and Mexico.

The US, Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, Costa Rica and Panama will be the six North and Central American countries joining all 10 South American nations to compete.

US boss Gregg Berhalter is under big pressure, with some fans calling for him to go following a 5-1 warm-up defeat by Colombia.

“I don’t think I’m the right person to answer that question,” he said when asked about his future.

“But what I would say is that we do see this as a building block. We see this group as a talented group that’s able to do good things, and we want to use Copa America to show that we’re focused on going as far as we can.”

Most Copas since 1993 have had 12 countries, including two guests – with Japan and Qatar having played in past editions – but the last one in 2021 just had the 10 South American nations.

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