In what has been described as arguably the most important sporting event to be played on American soil in decades, the United States will host a month-long special version of the Copa America in 2016.
The tournament, which will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary, will be played across the U.S. from June 3-26.
The Copa America is played every four years -- the South American Championship is next scheduled for 2015 in Chile -- but the Confederation of South American Football [CONMEBOL] and the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football [CONCACAF] announced in a joint release Thursday that a special Centennial Cup America will be held in America and include six CONCACAF team, notably the United States and Mexico.
"I congratulate CONMEBOL for inspiring players and fans throughout a century of fantastic football, and thank them for extending the legacy of this hugely successful event to CONCACAF territory," CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb said. "The American continent may have been discovered in 1492, but I can't imagine a better way to unite this continent than with football and an exceptional celebration of talent in 2016."
All 10 CONMEBOL nations will be invited, with six others from CONCACAF. The U.S. and Mexico, plus this year's Caribbean and Central American Cup Champions. The final two teams will be determined by a playoff between the four non-qualifying teams who advance the furthest in the 2015 Gold Cup.
"We are proud to play a leading role in the celebration of the centennial of a tournament born to unite all America," CONMEBOL President Eugenio Figueredo said. "Year after year the Cup has gained prestige, which has allowed the opening of doors to the football of an entire continent. Now, CONCACAF and the United States will play host to the world's oldest national team competition."
Sites for the tournament have yet to be revealed, but the Associated Press reports that the Rose Bowl, Sun Life Stadium in Miami, and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey are potential destinations.