Finally, it is official: The Copa América is coming to the United States in 2016.
The 45th edition of the South American championship for national teams, to be held on the 100th anniversary of the inaugural tournament in 1916, will take place outside of South America for the first time ever.
It will be hosted by the US as part of an agreement between CONMEBOL (the South American confederation) and CONCACAF (the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean) that will see the 10 South American teams joined by six teams from the North American region.
After months of rumors, the tournament was officially announced on Thursday in a press conference held by CONCACAF and CONMEBOL in Miami, featuring CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb and CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo. The tournament will officially be called the Copa América Centenario and will run from June 3-26, 2016. Host cities and stadiums will be chosen via a bidding process.
- WATCH: CONCACAF press conference
Now held every four years, the tournament normally features the 10 South American teams and two guest teams, and it will be held in Chile in 2015. Uruguay's 15 tournament titles is the record, set with its victory in 2011. Argentina (14 titles) and Brazil (eight titles) are the other traditional powers, with Brazil winning four of the last six tournaments. Argentina has not triumphed since 1993.
The six teams from CONCACAF to compete in the tournament will be the United States, Mexico, the champion of the 2014 Caribbean Cup, the champion of the 2014 Copa Centroamericana (also to be held in the United States) and two teams determined by a playoff among the top four non-qualified teams at the 2015 Gold Cup.
Players emblematic of both CONMEBOL and CONCACAF were in attendance on Thursday, with CONCACAF represented by former LA Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones (United States), former Chicago Fire midfielder Pável Pardo (Mexico), Theodore Whitmore (Jamaica) and former FC Dallas goalkeeper Shaka Hislop (Trinidad & Tobago).