Copa America comes to Philly in June
Fútbol is coming back to Philadelphia.
Three group stage games of the Copa America Centenario will be played at Lincoln Financial Field this coming June.
Organizers released the full schedule for the international soccer tournament which will be held across the country from June 3 to June 26. The Linc was chosen as one of 10 stadiums that will host games throughout the tournament. The three scheduled to be held in Philly will be on June 9, 11 and 14. The U.S. National Soccer Team will play in the June 11 game against a yet unnamed opponent.
“Copa America Centenario 2016 in the United States is huge,” said Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. team head coach. “It’s almost like a World Cup. The Copa America is similar to the European Championship, so it’s kind of just one step below the World Cup and having that hosted in the United States with big teams like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and our neighbors Mexico along with other CONCACAF nations joining in a 16-team tournament next summer is an unbelievable opportunity.”
Philly will not host any of the later stage playoff games. The tournament’s final will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on June 26 (only a 100 mile journey north).
As of right now, only the group leaders have been seeded. The U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are in groups A, B, C and D respectively. The draw for group positions with the rest of the qualified teams is scheduled to be held some time in February. Public ticket sales are also scheduled to begin that month.
“We are happy to play in the cities that Brazil has played in the past in front of many Brazilians,” said Dunga, Brazil’s head coach. “And more importantly, soccer in the United States is continuing to grow. The support of the Brazilians and Latinos is fundamental.”
The tournament celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CONMEBOL, the confederation which governs soccer in South America. A total of 16 teams will play 32 games. All 8 countries from CONMEBOL will participate and 6 teams will participate from its North American counterpart, CONCACAF.