|All three of these guys will play in the Copa America Centenario|
From early June to late August, three major international tournaments take place on three different continents, and feature most of the world's best players. As well as the U.S. Men's National Team. I kid because I love.
Though FIFA's year of (finally acknowledging widespread) corruption threatened it, the organizers of Copa America finally announced this month that the 100th anniversary of the tournament would take place on U.S. soil. The Centenario, as its known, combines CONMEBOL's (the South American soccer federation) ten teams with six from CONCACAF (North America's) in a CONclave of sort. (My bad. That's terrible. We really need an editor.)
The U.S.A. is one of four seeded teams, along with Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. The draw takes place on February 3rd, and if you don't think we're praying for Haiti, Peru, and Venezuela, you might not be a close follower of the beautiful game. The tournament itself kicks off on June 3 in Santa Clara, and closes with the final in East Rutherford, NJ on June 26.
Seriously, though, read this story about Iceland. It's a cool tale.
|Megan Klingenberg, tiny badass|
Euro 2016 begins in June 10, with play continuing through the final in Paris on July 10. ESPN will carry the entire tournament here in the colonies.
We get a breather for a few weeks after that nearly 40-day sprint, and then the men's and women's Olympic soccer tournaments commence at various venues across Brazil. Thank God they built all those stadiums for the 2014 World Cup.
Neither U.S. team has qualified yet, with the women seeking one of CONCACAF's two berths in play from February 10 - 21, and the men playing a two-leg home and away match against a tough Colombia squad in March. It'd be a stunner if the defending World Cup champion women stumble on
the way to Rio, but the men are a far dicier proposition.
Either way, it's three more weeks of soccer. And for that, at least several of us are grateful.