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The 2016 Summer of Soccer

Another terrific summer of Soccer is heading to North America. And last week we learned more about the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2015 was a pretty good year for soccer.

Major League Soccer completed its 20th season.  (Congrats Portland Timbers!)

The Colorado Rapids were the host team for the MLS All-Star Game

Our USL Partner, Charlotte Independence, made their debut and missed the playoffs by just a point.

Our neighbors to the south, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, played their first match ever and made a deep run in the playoffs.

And let us not ever forget the terrific triumph of the USWNT winning their third World Cup title.

Whew.

2015 was a GREAT year for soccer.

But 2016 is looking even better.

The Summer Olympics kick off in Rio in August.  The USWNT will be looking for another Gold Medal and the U-23 USMNT will try and qualify for the games in March.

Euro 2016 kicks off on June 10 in France and will run for a month with the final being held on July 10.

Our very own Burgundy Boys will play a full slate of games as they look to get back into the playoffs.

AND...the 2016 Copa America Centenario is coming to the United States for the first time.

That tournament is one that I am really looking forward to.  MLS looks to be be taking a break for two weeks (similar to the Men's World Cup) and many of the venues are in MLS cities:

Pasadena, California  (The Rose Bowl)

Santa Clara, California (Levi's Stadium)

Seattle, Washington  (Century Link Field)

Glendale, Arizona  (University of Phoenix Stadium)

Houston, Texas  (NRG Stadium)

Orlando, Florida  (The Citrus Bowl)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  (Lincoln Financial Field)

East Rutherford, New Jersey  (MetLife Stadium)

Foxborough, Massachusetts  (Gillette Stadium)

Chicago, Illinois  (Soldier Field)

(I am kind of bummed that more MLS stadiums were not selected, but I get wanting bigger places.  But many of these are turf facilities which sucks)

And those bigger facilities are important when you look at the teams that are coming:

CONMEBOL squads:

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela

CONCACAF squads:

Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, United States and the winners of Panama v Cuba and Haiti v Trinidad and Tobago.

It looks to be a tough ask for the CONCACAF teams on paper, but it should be a pretty terrific tournament regardless.  For the USMNT they learned last week where and when they will be playing their games:

June 3--Levi's Stadium--Santa Clara, California

June 7--Soldier Field--Chicago, Illinois

June 11--Lincoln Financial Field--Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The USMNT is in Group A, and the rest of the group will be determined at a later date.

The Copa America Centenario will run from June 3 through June 26 with the final held at MetLife Stadium.