Home Canadian Soccer Proposed 2016 Copa America offers a dilemma for the next Canadian soccer coach

Proposed 2016 Copa America offers a dilemma for the next Canadian soccer coach


The announcement that CONMEBOL and CONCACAF execs have laid down a “framework” for staging a special edition of the Copa America in the United States has likely put Canadian soccer execs in a bit of a quandary.

According to the details of the proposed tournament, which was released Wednesday, the 16-team field for a special Copa America Centenario would be a true selection of the best that the Americas has to offer. The field would include six CONCACAF teams — the Americans and Mexicans would get a bye into the tourney, while the four other CONCACAF teams would be determined by the order of finish at the next Gold Cup.

Now, before getting to the point, it needs to be stressed that this is the framework for a proposed tournament, to be held in the United States. It isn’t a final confirmation.

But, if this 16-team special Copa America that actually lives up to the name — representing all of the Americas rather than South America — comes to pass, there will be some hard decisions to be made by the man who becomes the next coach of the Canadian national team.

There’s no doubt that a current national-team roster led by thirtysomethings needs to be overhauled. There’s no doubt that Patrice Bernier is likely just the first of many Canadian players to announce his international retirement.

And that means, to further Canada’s chances for Russia 2018, the new coach should go to the Gold Cup with a young roster that features a lot of potential. The Gold Cup should be a dress rehearsal for bigger tournaments to come.

But, with the carrot of Copa America qualification being dangled in front of the Canadian Soccer Association, you couldn’t blame a new coach for putting off the youth movement, and pleading with some of the veterans to stay on board for the Gold Cup, so Canada has its best chance to qualify for the big tourney in ’16.

In prepping for the World Cup, it would be the worst possible move. But, if there was the chance of Canada playing a Copa America match against the likes of Brazil or Argentina — possibly in a close-to-the-border city like Detroit or Seattle — how could you ignore it?

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One Comment

  1. Charles

    October 26, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Why would it be the 2013 Gold Cup finish and not the 2015 edition of the Gold Cup that would qualify the 4 remaining CONCACAF teams?


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