Messi anotó cuatro goles y proporcionó dos asistencias en dos partidos con el Barcelona. (Photo : Getty Images)
Soccer's biggest stars seldom play on U.S. soil, and when they do it's during uncompetitive international friendlies made to keep up appearances.
For the first time since the 1994 World Cup, players like Messi, James, and Neymar will have something at stake when they land stateside next June. Last week, governing bodies CONEMBOL and CONCACAF's announced that 10 U.S. cities will host the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
There's little reason for Brazil's Neymar and Argentina's Messi not to participate; the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro begin in August and, if they are chosen, they would be one of three players on a U-23 squad. Those under contract overseas won't be affected either. Premier League play also begins in August and the UEFA Champions League doesn't start until September.
Copa America's centennial celebration will take place across 10 metropolitan-area stadiums, including the Rose Bowl, Levi's Stadium, and Gillette Stadium in Boston. New York is rumored to host the final.
Host cities and stadiums:
Boston (Gillette Stadium)
Chicago (Soldier Field)
Houston (NRG Stadium)
Los Angeles (Rose Bowl)
New York (MetLife Stadium)
Orlando (Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium)
Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field)
Phoenix (University of Phoenix Stadium)
San Francisco (Levi's Stadium)
Seattle (CenturyLink Field)
While the final two CONCACAF teams will be determined in a double-header playoff on Jan. 8, 2016, the tournament already fields some of the biggest teams in the world. Mexico and the United States get an automatic bid, and Jamaica (2014 CFU Caribbean Cup) and Costa Rica (2014 Central American Cup) got in with regional championship victories in 2014.
Trinidad & Tobago OR Haiti
Panama OR Cuba
Fans can register for on-sale date information by going to CA2016.com, though demand will be high and priority goes to season ticket holders of MLS clubs hosting the tournament. The L.A. Galaxy is just one of a slew of host teams offering a private Copa America presale with purchase of a season ticket package.
Additional schedule and ticketing info will be released in December, with the tournament draw taking place in 2016.