Houston will be hosting at least 3 games for the Copa America Centario – the second biggest soccer tournament to ever be played in the U.S. Not since the 1994 World Cup has the U.S. been host to such a high-profile tournament. In 1994, detractors wondered whether the U.S. would support the world’s biggest single sport event, but those questions were washed away with all time record attendance numbers and a smoothly run tournament.
The Copa America Centario – to be played from June 3 to 26, 2016 – is essentially an expanded version of the bi-annual Copa America tournament which determines the champion of South America. Since there are only 10 countries in COMEBOL, the South American federation, tournament organizers have traditionally invited 2 other teams to create a 12 team tournament.
The Copa America Centario will feature 16 teams – all 10 from South America, plus the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica and the winners of playoffs between Panama v. Cuba and Trinidad-Tobago v. Haiti. The tournament will feature world renown players such as Lionel Messi of Argentina, James Rodriguez of Columbia, Neymar, Jr. of Brasil and Giovanni Dos Santos of Mexico.
Other cities that will host games are New York, Orlando, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Red will be first in line for tickets and is hoping the Argentina will return to Texas for at least one game.