POSTED: June 6th 2016

Copa America Centenario 2016 welcomed to the United States and Los Angeles by US Soccer and LA 2024

Copa America Centenario 2016 welcomed by LA 2024 © LA 2024
Copa America Centenario 2016 welcomed by LA 2024 © LA 2024

Copa America Centenario 2016 kicks off at the Rose Bowl © LA 2024
Copa America Centenario 2016 kicks off at the Rose Bowl © LA 2024

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The first match of Copa America Centenario 2016, the oldest continental soccer competition, kicked off in Santa Clara, California and featured USA versus Colombia. Both LA 2024 and US Soccer celebrated the tournament and reaffirmed California's position as a global leader in sport event hosting. The competition will run from June 3-26.

"We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the world's best soccer teams and biggest soccer stars to the United States for this historic competition. Los Angeles, in particular, is a city that lives and breathes sport, so to host three matches at the iconic Rose Bowl is a great honor. Sport is an integral part of Angelenos' everyday life, and I have no doubt that all Copa America participants and travelling fans will feel warmly welcomed," expressed LA 2024 Chair, Casey Wasserman.

The 100th year of Copa America commemorates the first time in its history that the tournament will take place outside South America. The competition participants will include five of the top ten teams in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings, along with FIFA's Ballon d'Or recipient, Lionel Messi (Argentina).

"It is a privilege to host the Copa America Centenario 2016 in the United States, the first time that the competition has ever been held outside of South America. We are especially proud to be able to welcome the world's greatest soccer players to Los Angeles, a city that loves soccer and is home to two MLS clubs, the LA Galaxy, and Los Angeles Football Club," commented US Soccer President, Sunil Gulati.

The iconic Rose Bowl in Pasadena will hold the group-stage matches. It will host the following matches: Mexico versus Jamaica; Brazil versus Ecuador; and Colombia versus Paraguay. Also, the Rose Bowl is the proposed site to host the 2024 Olympic soccer competition if LA 2024 is awarded the Games.  

Wasserman stated, "The Rose Bowl is an example of Los Angeles' existing world-class sporting infrastructure, which, coupled with our ideal weather conditions and our long-standing commitment to sport and healthy living, make Los Angeles a Games-ready city if awarded the honor of hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Taking place in 10 US cities, the Copa America 2016 will feature 32 matches between 16 teams from the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL). Teams for CONCACAF include the US, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, and Jamaica. Teams such as Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, and Colombia.

In addition, Google celebrated the tournament by adding a specialized doodle to their homepage.

President Gulati said, "LA would undoubtedly provide an electric setting for the sport should it be awarded the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Millions of young Americans play soccer every year, and Los Angeles' ready-made connection with youth culture makes it uniquely suited as a host for Copa America 2016, as well as an Olympic and Paralympic Games."

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · LA 2024 · Copa America Centenario · Copa America 2016 · US Soccer · CONCACAF · CONMEBOL

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