The 2019 Copa America is set for Brazil, and the competition is expanding from 10 teams to 16 teams. So with those extra spots available, and only 10 teams in South America's governing body, CONMEBOL, who is going to fill those spots? According to Brazilian news publication Globo, the U.S. men's national team is one of the teams the competition and CONMEBOL want. The U.S. is one of the preferred squads alongside others like Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Japan and China.
Here's more from that Globo report:
Plan A for the organization is to have two squads from CONCACAF, two from UEFA and two from Asia.The preference is for Mexico and USA, Portugal and Spain, Japan and China.
The organization is dreaming of a tournament that would feature players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Suarez, Messi, James Rodriguez and Iniesta ...
The U.S., of course, has participated in Copa Americas before and playing in the tournament would give the team even more exposure and a chance to face top competition as it would then look ahead towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
The U.S. has hosted the Copa America once just last year and played as an invitee three other times. In the 1993 Copa America in Ecuador, the U.S. was eliminated in the group stage, while two years later in Uruguay the U.S. finished fourth, beating Argentina, Mexico and Chile. In the 2007 edition in Venezuela, the U.S. was eliminated in the group stage and then finished fourth last year.
As for inviting countries that have nothing to do with the Americas, it has happened in the past. Japan played in the 1999 Copa America, but no European nation has ever participated.
And when it comes to the USA's chances in that cup, it is too far away to tell. But, you have to wonder what kind of squad the U.S. would send, considering the Gold Cup is also set for that summer. The only competition the U.S. plays in that is more important is the World Cup, so getting a chance to compete in the biggest cup in the western hemisphere is another fantastic opportunity for the U.S. to make noise on one of the biggest of stages.
The 2019 Copa America will be the final edition played on odd years. Starting in 2020, the tournament will be held every four years in order to stay aligned with other major continental tournaments across the globe such as the Euro Championship. After reportedly making $46 million net profit off the Copa America Centenario last year and a surplus in excess of $100 million, .