After a noble, yet unsuccessful run at the World Cup, excitement around soccer in Canada has been given a new lease of life. It has been officially announced that the country, along with the US will be hosting the biggest competition in South American football, the famed Copa América. How has this influenced the tournament? Will this put the North Americans teams in better stead to perform at the 2026 World Cup, to be hosted across the US, Canada, and Mexico?


This article will explore whether these two North American nations have the facilities for the tournament, how they might perform in the Copa América, and whether hosting this tournament will serve as good practice for the World Cup in 2026.


The US & Canada – are the facilities enough?

A question that has come up has been whether North America is well-equipped to host a major international soccer tournament. While soccer may not be as popular in the US as football, basketball and baseball, the MLS is a league packed full of competitive teams, that each of stadiums that are of a very high quality.


If one were to compare the US and Canada to the likes of Qatar, a country having successfully hosted a World Cup, there are plenty more stadiums in North America to choose from. The World Cup in Qatar was hosted over 8 stadiums, ranging from a capacities between 40 000, to 80 000. Throughout North America, there are close to 30 stadiums, with 7 falling within the range of being able to hold between 40 000and 80 000 people, and most likely, more will be developed if need be.


The World Cup was competed by 8 groups of 4 teams each, whereas the Copa América is competed by two groups of 5 teams each. This means that there will be fewer games, which ensures that the US and Canada are more than well-equipped to host this tournament.


How will the US & Canada fare in the Copa América?

Both Canada and the US managed to do fairly well throughout the CONCACAF qualifying on their respective journeys to the World Cup. While the list of sportsbooks in Canada have yet to release odds for the Copa América, it’s fair to say, however, that the odds are stacked against the teams from North America to win the Copa América.


With Argentina’s recent success in the World Cup, along with a very strong Brazilian team, and the likes of Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile all in the mix, the North American teams would do very well to advance to any knockout stages.


Based on performances from the World Cup, the USMNT would stand a better chance of making it to a respectable stage in the Copa América than Canada. Considering the tendency for South American teams to be attacking orientated, and the fact that Canada does not have the best defence, our men in red may have a hard time to make a mark on this competition.


Will Canada & The US be bettered prepared for the World Cup?

There is no doubting that if the US and Canada face stiffer competition, they will be in better stead to put up better performances against all the competition that they will need to face in 2026 at the World Cup. It is said that the 2026 World Cup will be unique in that it will see 48 teams competing ahead of what has become the regular 32. More teams mean more games, meaning that consistency is key.


From a team performance perspective, the USMNT and CANMNT will certainly be better prepared for competing in the World Cup, and the same can be said for their readiness to host the World Cup too.


While some may not look favourably over the inclusion of the US and Canada in the Copa América, it is positive both for the two nations’ development in the beautiful game. Another positive aspect comes with the US and Canada’s ability to host major international soccer competitions.