Soccer. Football. Futbol. Whichever term you prefer, the best players in the world will be showcasing their talents across the United States in celebration of Copa America Centenario – the 100th anniversary of Copa America. This historic soccer tournament, hosted for the first time on U.S. soil, begins June 3 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA with the U.S. vs Colombia. The final match, to be held June 26 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, promises to be a thrilling conclusion to one of the most prestigious and widely viewed sporting events in the world.
The Copa America (Spanish and Portuguese for “America Cup”) was formerly known as the South American Football Championship. As the oldest international continental football competition between the men’s national football teams of CONMEBOL, the tournament determines the continental champion of South America. Uruguay leads with 15 titles, followed by Argentina with 14, and Brazil with 8.
Tournament Timeline and Milestones – Argentina Leads the Way
British railway workers in Argentina are credited with the first recorded football match in South America in 1867. The first football team in South America was created in Argentina in 1887, followed by the founding of the Argentine Football Association in 1893. The first international competition held between national teams of the continent occurred in 1910 when Argentina organized an event to commemorate the centenary of the May revolution. Participants were Chile and Uruguay, but the event is not considered official by CONMEBOL. Six years later, in 1916, Argentina held a tournament celebrating the centennial of its independence, and Chile, Uruguay and Brazil joined Argentina to become the first edition of what is currently known as Copa America.
Current Tournament Format
The tournament started as an annual event, but after 1929, disorganization and disagreements created continuous interruptions in the game’s schedule and structure. It wasn’t until 1975 that the tournament officially acquired the name Copa America. The current format, established in 1993, involves 12 teams competing at venues in a host nation over a period of one month. Since the CONMEBOL confederation has only 10 teams, two teams from different confederations are invited to complete a 12-member group. Host country Chile won the 2015 Copa America, claiming its first tournament trophy.
Going forward, Copa America will be held every four years. After this one-off, special edition year for the 100th anniversary celebration, the tournament will resume its schedule, with Brazil hosting in 2019. As a consequence of changes over the past century, 2016 marks the 45th official Copa America edition since its inception.
Copa America Centenario – By the Numbers
# of years: 100 Years, making it the oldest international continental football competition.
# of matches: 32 matches, which will be played throughout the U.S. June 3 – June 26, 2016.
# of host cities: 10 U.S. cities will host matches, each at a stadium with seating capacity of over 50,000: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA; Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA; CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA; Univ. of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ; NRG Stadium, Houston, TX; Soldier Field Stadium, Chicago, IL; Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL; Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA; Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA; MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.
# of confederations involved: 2 confederations of FIFA’s 6: CONMEBOL (Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol) and CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football).
# of competing teams: 16 teams in this special Centennial edition. Comprised of 10 CONMEBOL teams: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela; and 6 CONCACAF teams: Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, USA.
# of trophies awarded the winner: 2 trophies. In addition to the original, silver Copa America trophy, a new, one-of-a-kind trophy will be awarded to the Copa America Centenario winner. Taking 89 days to design and 98 days to assemble, the 24 – inch tall, 15.6 pound trophy has a metal base covered in 24k gold.
U.S. Soccer Names 23 Player Roster for Copa America
2016 will mark the fourth appearance by the U.S. Men’s National Team at Copa America, and the path to a deep tournament starts with Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay in Group A. Coach Jurgen Klinnsman has selected a team that includes 15 players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Team Captain Michael Bradley, veterans Clint Dempsey, John Brooks, Bobby Wood, DeAndre Yedlin, and Tim Howard will join with a younger contingent (5 players 23-years-old or younger) in a quest for success.
Commemorative Protocol Coin
With a short lead-time for a “show that must go on”, C. Forbes, Inc. has proudly designed custom, limited edition, commemorative coins to be presented to guests of U.S. Soccer at the opening match on June 3. The satin gold finish coin features the Copa America Centenario logo, the 100 year anniversary date and includes the names of the 10 host cities. The coins will be showcased in custom, walnut boxes with mahogany finish, routed to hold the commemorative coin. The coin boxes will be packaged in a two-piece navy blue gift box.
C. Forbes, Inc. has also designed commemorative items for other notable centennial observances: the Centennial of Flight, the White House – West Wing, James Madison University, and the U.S. World War 1 Centennial.
Please contact us for more information about our products and customization process. Our mission is to design, produce and present quality, custom items that tell your story. We welcome the opportunity to combine your goals with our expertise to properly commemorate your unique anniversary, event or organization.