Rumors of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL teaming up for a tournament featuring the best teams from the Americas could soon become reality. According to ESPN Deportes' Jorge Ramos, the two confederations have agreed to put on a Pan American Cup in 2016 that will be hosted by the United States.
Initially it was thought that CONMEBOL would invite the best from CONCACAF to play in a 16-team Copa America, but that appears to be off the table. Instead, CONMEBOL will continue to play Copa America for the South American championship and CONCACAF will continue to play the Gold Cup for the championship of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Then, in the year after those two tournaments, there will be a Pan American Cup with the best of the two confederations.
The idea of a 16-team tournament with the best teas that the Americas have to offer is tantalizing for soccer fans in the region. While there is no doubt that the South American teams are superior to the CONCACAF ones, putting some of the bigger teams like the United States and Mexico up against the best of South America in a serious tournament will be a joy.
Copa America is a brilliant tournament, but gets little attention outside of South America. The Gold Cup is largely ignored even in North and Central America. Right now, there are two major international tournaments -- the World Cup and Euro. A Pan American Cup has the potential to resonate not just in the Americas, but around the world as another major tournament.
To this point, there is no confirmation that the tournament is a go and in world soccer it is dangerous to go with anything before it is confirmed, but Ramos is often reliable and this tournament makes too much sense. Putting the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and the rest of the top, most popular teams in the Americas in a tournament that is hosted by the U.S., with its huge population, stadiums and corporations is too big of a potential moneymaker to pass up.