The 2024 Copa America highlights the supremacy of soccer in the United States

The 2024 Copa America will see South America’s top soccer teams, including Brazil and Argentina, compete in 12 cities in the United States. This prestigious tournament promises exciting matches and showcases the region’s rich football history.

The Copa America Championship is held in the United States. It is the oldest continental football competition, and has hosted some of the game’s greatest legends, including Lionel Messi, Pele, Diego Maradona and Neymar.

This summer, in 12 American cities and 14 stadiums, the best South American teams, including Messi’s Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, will once again compete for the title of “South American Champions (among others).” To count the numbers, the United States, Mexico and some other countries in North and Central America were also invited to join in the fun.

The 16-team tournament will begin with four groups of four teams. After each team plays its group opponent once, the top two teams in each group qualify for the knockout stages. During the group stage, teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero for a loss. The knockout stage consists of three rounds: quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. At this stage, if the score is tied after 90 minutes, the match goes to extra time, and if it is still tied, it is decided by penalty kicks.

This year’s tournament will be held in several US cities, including Miami, East Rutherford, Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta, Kansas City, Arlington, Houston, Austin, Glendale, Las Vegas, Inglewood and Santa Clara. The final will be held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, home of the Miami Dolphins.

This year’s Copa America groups are as follows:

Group A: Argentina, Peru, Chile, Canada

Group B: Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Jamaica

Group C: USMNT, Uruguay, Panama, Bolivia

Group D: Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Costa Rica

A story rich in brilliance and drama

Copa America has a history full of glamor and drama. First held in 1916, it is the oldest continental football competition. Historically, it has witnessed fierce competitions and distinctive moments. The last time the tournament was held in the United States was in 2016 on the occasion of the “Centennial” Copa America, which celebrated the centenary of the tournament. That tournament ended painfully for Messi, who lost on penalties to Chile, but it was a moment that made him beloved by many when he collapsed crying on the field.

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Uruguay and Argentina dominated the history of the tournament with 15 titles each. Despite its small population of about 3.5 million, Uruguay has consistently performed well, winning six of its first nine tournaments. Argentina, on the other hand, achieved most of its success before changing the name of the tournament from the South American Football Championship in 1975, winning 12 of the 15 titles before 1960. In 2021, Argentina, inspired by Messi, returned to claim the trophy, ending A drought that lasted 28 years.

However, Brazil have been the dominant team over the past three decades, winning five of their nine titles since 1989. They won two in a row in 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2007, led by a golden generation of players such as Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaká. Other notable winners include Chile, which won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016, Paraguay and Peru.

Including guest countries

In contrast to UEFA, which organizes qualifiers for its tournament with 32 teams, CONMEBOL, the governing body for football in South America, is FIFA’s smallest continental confederation with only ten teams. As a result, all South American teams automatically qualify for the Copa America, and invited countries are invited to fill out the numbers. This year the United States, Mexico, Canada and other CONCACAF countries will participate.

Since 1993, away nations have become a regular feature of the Copa America, adding more teams, more matches and larger crowds. While no guest country has yet won the tournament, Mexico has come close to reaching the finals twice. The USMNT has also performed well, reaching the semifinals in 1995 and 2016.

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Stars to watch

This year’s tournament will feature many of football’s brightest stars. Lionel Messi, who now plays for Inter Miami, will participate in his seventh America’s Cup. By playing in this tournament, Messi will break the record for most appearances in the Copa America, surpassing the record of 34 appearances held by Chile’s Sergio Livingstone. Messi will also break the tournament’s all-time scoring record if he scores five goals.

The Brazilian national team will be led by Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior in Neymar’s absence. Other notable Brazilian players include Alisson, Gabriel Martinelli and Bruno Guimaraes. Colombia will have Luis Diaz from Liverpool and Darwin Nunez will be the Uruguayan star. Moises Caicedo from Ecuador is another player worth keeping an eye on.

Interestingly, several MLS players will be participating in the Copa America this summer. Orlando City’s Pedro Gallese is expected to play for Peru, and Philadelphia Union’s Jose Martinez is likely to represent Venezuela. MLS clubs must manage their rosters when these players join their national teams for the tournament.

Favorites and underdogs

Argentina enters the tournament as favourites, based on their international success, including their recent World Cup win. Brazil, despite the absence of Neymar, remains a formidable opponent. Uruguay, with its strong team, is also a contender. Among the dark horses, Colombia stands out as a team capable of making a deep run. The United States, with its young and talented team, could reach the semifinals if the knockout stage draw is favorable.

The tournament format, which allows for intense group stage matches followed by high-stakes knockout rounds, promises excitement and drama. With the best teams and legendary players, Copa America 2024 will be a stunning showcase of footballing excellence.

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The Copa America is not just a tournament, it is a celebration of Latin American football culture and its influence on the global stage. The tournament’s rich history highlights the region’s passion for the sport and its ability to produce world-class talent. The inclusion of guest nations from North and Central America increases the tournament’s appeal, showcasing soccer’s growing influence throughout the Americas.

Latin American players have left an indelible mark on world football, with legends such as Maradona, Pele and Messi inspiring millions. The region’s unique style of play, characterized by flair, creativity and passion, continues to captivate fans around the world. The Copa America tournament is a platform for these players to shine and for new talents to emerge.

With the tournament kicking off in the United States, fans will have the opportunity to witness the skill and excitement that Latin American football brings. The different host cities and stadiums will reflect the multicultural nature of the sport, bringing together fans from different backgrounds to celebrate their shared love of football.

The 2024 Copa America in the United States will be a historic event that will combine high-level competition with the vibrant culture of Latin American soccer. The match is expected to be exciting, with unforgettable moments and great performances from the best players in the world. As the tournament progresses, it will crown South American champions and cement the lasting legacy and global influence of football in Latin America.

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This summer’s tournament is a reminder of the uniting power of football, bringing nations and fans together to celebrate this beautiful game. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to the Copa América, this year’s competition will captivate and inspire you, showcasing the best that football has to offer.

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