The 2024 Copa America will be played in the United States, the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL confederations announced on Friday, as part of a new strategic partnership that will include a jointly organised club tournament.
Next year's Copa America, organised by the South American confederation (CONMEBOL), will also feature six invited teams from the CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean) region.
Those six will qualify via the 2023-24 CONCACAF Nations League — meaning the U.S. is not guaranteed a place at the tournament. But the USMNT — along with Mexico and Canada — will be favored to earn a place.
The tournament will likely give the three North American nations their highest-leverage games between now and the 2026 World Cup, which they will co-host — and for which they therefore won't have to qualify.
While the 2026 World Cup games will be shared among the three nations, 2024 Copa America games will be played exclusively in the U.S. — in many of the same cities and stadiums that will welcome the world two years later.
It will be the second time that South America's most important national team tournament will be held in the U.S. after the special commemorative edition in 2016, which also featured six CONCACAF teams.
Why the United States?
Hosting duties are typically assigned on a rotating basis to one of CONMEBOL's 10 members. It was Ecuador's turn in 2024. But Ecuador declined a nomination, and CONMEBOL entered 2023 without an agreed-upon host.
CONCACAF and its most powerful federations, meanwhile, were searching for meaningful games in 2024 and 2025. And "obviously," as U.S. Soccer CEO JT Batson told a couple of reporters two weeks ago, "Copa America is a hell of a property."
Batson also mentioned that, while in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, he heard consistently from other federations: "A lot of people want to come play soccer in our country. We have very impassioned fans, we've got great facilities, and of course, with the World Cup coming here, teams want to scout it out."
A North American hosting arrangement made too much sense. Discussions intensified after the 2022 World Cup, and an agreement was finalized this week.