Copa América Will Return to U.S. in 2024

It is not uncommon for the Copa América to include “guest teams” from other regions. But for 2024, the teams from Concacaf will qualify through the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League, rather than by invitation. A guest team has never won the Copa América, although Mexico made the final in 1993 and 2001. The United States has appeared in the tournament four times, making two semifinal appearances.

The federations said the expanded Copa América would serve, in part, as a vital window of top-level preparation in the Western Hemisphere ahead of the 2026 World Cup, which is to be co-hosted in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The tournament will be held from mid-June to mid-July 2024, putting it in scheduling conflict with that summer’s European Championship, a tent-pole event on the soccer calendar that is held every four years, but keeping both tournaments well clear of the Paris Olympics that open in late July 2024.

Argentina won the most recent Copa América in 2021, a career highlight for Lionel Messi, and his first major national team title. He and Argentina followed that with a World Cup win in 2022. In all, Argentina and Uruguay have won 15 Copa Américas each and Brazil nine.

The federations also announced that the 2024 women’s Concacaf Gold Cup will include the top four South American teams alongside eight teams from Concacaf, a rare (and welcome) bit of heightened tournament competition for the region’s best teams outside the Women’s World Cup or the Olympics.

A new men’s club competition for the region is also planned, to include two club teams from each confederation. The federations said they hoped to launch that tournament in 2024 as well. The tournament comes as the Club World Cup, for club teams around the world, is in flux, with FIFA planning to expand it but hold it less frequently.

The club tournament is another sign of the deepening relationship between the regional bodies and the willingness of Conmebol to seek new territories for its teams. It already has a relationship with UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, that has seen the revival of an intercontinental championship matching the winner of the Copa América against the European champion. Argentina beat Italy, 3-0, in the game last year, the first time it had been held since 1993.

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