Having the Copa America Centenario in the United States has brought a level of excitement that we don't usually see around soccer, and it's brought back up an idea that gets thrown around every once in awhile. What if they scrapped the South American CONMEBOL's Copa America and the northern CONCACAF's Gold Cup to create one tournament that could compete with the Euros? U.S. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann is all for a merger:
"I would be totally up for that one. I think that would be huge for our region to play every four years in the Copa America in the format that it is played right now. It would be, for us, and I'm sure speaking on behalf of Mexico and Costa Rica as well, it would be huge for the CONCACAF teams. It would be huge to have that type of a competition every four years. For us to grow and compete with these top nations in South America, it would be absolutely fantastic."
It's somewhat surprising that he would be so gung-ho, considering that in the last eight Gold Cups the United States has lifted the trophy four times. With six of the top teams in the world in CONMEBOL, a merger would make things considerably more difficult for the U.S. side. It would also affect the number of slots for World Cup qualifiers.
Javier Mascherano, the Argentina and FC Barcelona superstar, also thinks a merger is a great idea. After Argentina's group stage win over Panama in the Copa America, he said, "in my personal opinion, I believe that the two should unify once and for all to create a championship like the Euro."
Four-time World Cup veteran and Houston Dynamo left back DeMarcus Beasley, disagrees, and thinks "the system is fine where it’s at. I don't think there’s any problems with it. All the teams have a fair shot at trying to get to the World Cup. I don't think it should change."
But it might already be happening. In September 2015, espnFC reported that MP & Silva co-founder Riccardo Silva said that plans are in the works for a 64-team competition similar to the UEFA Champions League's format. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been brought in to help with the planning, and believes that "the concept of top North American soccer clubs competing against top South American clubs comes in the right moment for soccer's continuing strong development in the U.S. market."
What do you think? Would a merger help or hurt the U.S.?