·9 December 2022
·9 December 2022
Having already qualified as co-hosts, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will need to get creative when it comes to preparing for the 2026 World Cup.
The three nations must find ways to play against top-class opposition above the level found in Concacaf, while adding the competitive spice that just simply doesn't happen in friendlies.
Earlier this week, rumors emerged that the United States had become a serious contender to host the 2024 edition of Conmebol's Copa America. Meanwhile, Canada were understood to be playing at the tournament, with Mexico also keen.
This would see North America's finest seriously tested against the likes of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay in one of the most competitive scenarios imaginable.
On Thursday, Concacaf president Victor Montagliani spoke to Canadian broadcaster OneSoccer to address the rumors.
“All I have to say is that it is speculation,” said Canada native Montagliani. “We are always discussing these matters with all the confederations. But what's important, I think, is there's a bit of misinformation around some of these tournaments.
“It's really not the jurisdiction of a federation or a league to have those discussions. Those discussions are held by the confederations; it's between confederations. My Gold Cup is mine, nobody talks [about] the Gold Cup other than me. Copa America belongs to Conmebol and my partner Alejandro Dominguez. That's where the discussion happens.”
Fuel was added to the fire when it emerged that Ecuador were pulling out as hosts in 2024, with Peru the only other South American nation with realistic intent on hosting the tournament.
Regardless of whether it comes to the United States or if they, Canada, and Mexico turn up at all, it's clear the nations need testing at a much higher level than they'll find in, say, the Concacaf Nations League.
Mexico and Canada failed to make it out of the group stage at the current World Cup in Qatar, while the United States were easily beaten 3-1 in their round-of-16 clash against the Netherlands, despite going unbeaten in a group containing England, Iran, and Wales.
“We will have those discussions, we've had them, we will continue with all of them to see how we can better our own competitions, maybe create new ones,” Montagliani said. “We will probably have some sort of announcements on any of that stuff probably early in the 2023 stage, because we understand how important it is to have these competitions.”