Insider Notes: Copa group finale start times; Pulisic goes to prom
A lot of fans this week are asking why the Copa América doesn’t stage the last games of each group at the same time. That has been standard procedure at the World Cup starting in 1986, after an infamous game in the 1982 World Cup in which Germany and Austria played to a mutually beneficial result to advance and barely did anything on the field for most of the game.
A Copa América spokesperson said that organizers decided to follow what has been done at previous Copa Américas and Gold Cups, in which the final group games are not staged at the same time. The spokesperson also acknowledged that “TV considerations” did come into play in the decision. By contrast, at Euro 2016, all six groups will have their finales played simultaneously, as has been the custom in the past.
Here are a couple of more notes from Copa America:
Pulisic goes to prom
U.S. midfielder Christian Pulisic has a maturity beyond his 17 years, but occasionally he just wants to be a 17-year-old.
Two weekends ago, Pulisic got permission from coach Jurgen Klinsmann to leave U.S. camp and attend the prom in his hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The only challenge was that it was the night before the U.S.’s friendly against Bolivia in Kansas City, Kansas, and commercial flights wouldn’t get Pulisic to Pennsylvania and back in time, so he hired a private plane.
Pulisic went to prom and ended up scoring his first goal for the U.S. the next night—a pretty baller move all around.
Combined Americas tournament wouldn't replace Copa
The big legacy question about this special Copa América involving North and South America is whether it will continue in the future.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati denied a report this past week that an agreement had nearly been finalized that would create a combined Copa América for all of the Americas every four years in the United States.
A CONCACAF source says that while no talks about future combined tournaments have taken place yet, those talks are likely to happen after this tournament ends.
A combined Americas tournament would not replace the current Copa América—which is set to take place in Brazil in 2019 and in Ecuador in 2023—and at least one Gold Cup would still take place every four years.