CONMEBOL has this week officially declined a U.S. Soccer proposal to host another combined Copa América tournament featuring both CONMEBOL and Concacaf nations, instead awarding joint hosting rights for the 2020 edition of the South American event to Argentina and Colombia.
But that’s probably not the end of the story.
The US federation remains interested in organizing another such hemisphere-wide tourney like the Copa América Centenario (won by Chile, pictured above) that drew throngs of fans and strong interest in 2016, USSF president Carlos Cordeiro told ESPN FC.
“Our invitation is still valid. No doors are closed as of yet,” said Cordeiro. “We would like there to be an open, honest conversation about ways in which our two confederations can all come together about the long-term viability of an event that we can play in each other's territories over many years.
“It's not about what we call it and who runs it. It's about growing the game for our fans and our players. We think there is a significant opportunity here that we want to take advantage of.”
The US could still stage a combined Copa América as early as next summer, or shift focus to 2024, when the event could provide a timely lead-up to the 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.
CONMEBOL’s provisional awarding of the 2020 Copa América to Argentina and Colombia may represent a setback, or at least a delay, to those ambitions. Yet there’s a silver lining, according to Reuters, which reported that the US national team will be one of two guest countries invited to join South America's 10 member nations in next year’s edition, alongside Mexico.