Tuesday, October 03, 2006

US will be invited to 2007 Copa America

Sunil Gulati, the President of US Soccer, announced today that the US will be invited to the 2007 Copa America tournament in Venezuela. Gulati said they will decide by the end of the month if the team will play.

I suspect the answer to this invitation will be yes as it will let the new manager have a big test to build towards. Also, since it looks like the team will not be playing any games for the rest of the year, they will need to get as many games in as possible to recover from Germany.

One other thing that points towards the take up of this tournament is the recent talk about the MLS moving to a single table. If they did this, it would reduce the number of MLS games per team from this seasons 32 to 24 (currently teams play division rivals 4 times and non-division teams twice, but on a single table they would play each team twice). This reduction in games should reduce the number of games that will be missed by national team players.

The only hold out reason for the USSF could be the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Currently, the Gold Cup will take place June 6-24 with the Copa running June 26-July 15. That quick turn around will leave little time for players to adjust and if they were going to pick one, it would be the Gold Cup.

Hopefully it can all be worked out because the US needs to see more top-level competition and South America is a great place to find it.

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3 Comments:

Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

Between this, the original AP article and something posted on Climbing the Ladder I built a tower of speculation suggesting that Sunil Gulati's mention of the Copa America invitation actually portends changes to Major League Soccer's calendar.

Now that's some wild-ass speculation! Yeehaaww!!

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

Isn't the US regularly invited to play in the Copa America, it's only that US Soccer turns the invites down?

5:08 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...

evan,

I think they have been invited five times since they last played in 1995, but have turned it down due to MLS play. However, with all the talk of late, include Gulati's mentioning of this, it looks like they are setting the stage to accept.

The logic behind this is the much hinted at change in MLS schedule, MLS's realization that international play is very important to the future of the league and a need for the US to play in such tournaments in order to attract a big name coach.

With all the positive press this announcement has received, it will be difficult for MLS to veto it.

5:51 PM  

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