It was probably not a good sign that officials from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL met in Mexico City today sans anyone from USSF (but Televisa and Univision were present). It was reported yesterday that the US was having second thoughts about hosting and even participating.
Yet after the meeting, CONCACAF marketing Chief, Jurgen Mainka insists that the tournament will take place, as scheduled, among the purple moutain majesties and amber waves of grain next June.
What in the wide wide wide world of sports is a going on 'round here? Dowe really need to ask?
Staging a tourney a in the US generates a ton of cash: ask the UNCAF organizers. In what neutral country would a Honduras - El Salvador clash sell out in minutes? So with the the expensive tickets, the $10 beers, the $100 parking, not to mention the bloated TV rights fees, CONMEBOL is infatuated with the US market and desperately want to play the tournament where they can maximize their profit margin. But they are going to have to do a much better job of getting playing surfaces ready to play because they do not want to see a repeat of this:
The list of candidate cities does not even include the most South American of all American cities, Miami (due to the unfortunate timing of the renovation of Dolphins Stadium) but nearly half have a field turf surface. That will have to be addressed. Just this summer, Mexico lost a couple of players due to temporary field-related injuries.
So Copa America Centenario will go on as planned... for now.
A few questions to consider: Will it end up being a full-side, B-team, or a U23 tournament? Will it end up being played in South America after all? Will it be played at all? Is it worth all the trouble?