National men’s teams competing in the Copa America Centenario tournament being held in the U.S. for the first time ever, had to turn in preliminary rosters this week.
Leading the way among USL teams the Pittsburgh Riverhounds are the only USL team to have two players, Sergio Campbell and Romeo Parkes, both named to the Jamaican National team’s 40-player roster pool.
These rosters are binding and will serve as the basis for teams to select their final 23-player squads, which must be confirmed by May 20.
Parkes and Campbell have been fixtures in the starting eleven for the Hounds.
Parkes is making a good case — leading the Hounds with four goals, while Campbell, a former Columbus Crew first round SuperDraft selection, has started in three of the four games at center back.
Last year, Ryan Thompson, who was with the Riverhounds in 2015, missed a lot of time during his lone season in Pittsburgh playing for the Jamaican team in two International competitions, 2015 Copa Americas and their runner-up finish in 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The only other USL teams that have players represented on COPA National team 40-player rosters include two other Jamaicans: Junior Flemmings (NY Red Bulls II) and St. Louis FC (Thompson), along with Sebastien Thuriere (San Antonio FC).
ABOUT COPA CENTENARIO
The competition is a celebration of the centenary of CONMEBOL and the Copa América, and is to be the first Copa América hosted outside of South America.
The tournament, 100 years in the making, which will be the 45th edition of Copa América since its inception in 1916, will be held as part of an agreement between CONMEBOL (the South American football confederation) and CONCACAF (the football confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean) as a special edition between the usual four-year cycle, and will feature an expanded field of 16 teams (an increase from the usual 12), with all ten teams from CONMEBOL and six teams from CONCACAF.
The tournament is purely ceremonial; the winner of this tournament will not receive an invitation to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, as Chile have already qualified by winning the 2015 Copa América.