2016 will feature the summer of soccer.
Consider for a second this tweet from US Women’s National Team Star Alex Morgan
*Note that the Olympic Games on this schedule are only the Women’s teams, not the Men’s.
Three tournaments are going to span the summer, showing off some of the best players in the world.
Today, June 3, thru June 26 will be the COPA America Centenario. The 100th year anniversary of the South American football tournament will leave the continent for the first time, and be played in America, combining CONMEBOL (South America) and CONCACAF (North/Central America) teams for a 16-team tournament.
The winners of this tournament will NOT qualify for anything, as opposed to the regular COPA winners, which qualifies for the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The 16 teams are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rico, Ecuador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Some of the players and names to look out for: James Rodriguez (Colombia), Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Kaka and Neymar (Brazil), and lastly Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez (Chile).
June 10 thru July 10 will be the EURO 2016. The winners of this 24-team tournament will earn a spot in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The 24 teams that qualified are Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Rep. of Ireland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Wales.
Some of the players and names to look out for: Christiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Antoine Griezmann and Paul Progba (France), James Milner (England), Sergio Ramos (Spain) and Toni Kroos (Germany).
Lastly, we have the Rio 2016 Olympics from August 3 thru August 20. This will feature 16 Men’s Teams and 12 Women’s Teams. The top 3 teams in each win Olympic medals (in case that one wasn’t obvious 🙂 ).
The 16 Men’s Teams are made up of players under-23 years old, and up to 3 players over that age, and consist of Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Fiji, Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, and Sweden.
The 12 Women’s Teams are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China PR, Columbia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, South Africa, United States, and Zimbabwe.
Rosters for the Olympics have not yet been finalized, due to the time until the event and COPA/EURO falling out in-between.
Enjoy it all sports fans!