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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Argentina Plans U.S. Soccer Facility in Miami, Eyes More U.S. Cities

  • The AFA said that it may want to establish satellite locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta.
  • The American facility will be modeled after the AFA’s main complex in Ezeiza, Argentina.
Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi holds up the World Cup trophy at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the 2022 World Cup — and securing its record $42 million grand prize — in December, Argentina soccer is laying down roots in the U.S. for future success.

The Argentina Football Association recently announced plans to build an official training facility in North Bay Village, a small waterfront community situated between Miami and Miami Beach that would serve as its headquarters in the U.S.

The American facility will be modeled after the AFA’s main complex in Ezeiza, Argentina. The AFA also said that it may want to establish satellite locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta.

Notably, U.S. Soccer doesn’t have an official training facility in the country — meaning that Argentina will have one in the U.S. before its own national team does.

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A big reason for the stateside move is to scout and recruit dual-national talent in the U.S. and maintain the momentum it has built from six World Cup finals appearances, winning three titles (2022, 1986, and 1978).

“We know that there are many players in the U.S. who have Argentine parents,” AFA chief commercial and marketing officer Leandro Petersen told The Athletic. “We’ll continue to track those players who leave Argentina at a young age. If not, they’ll end up representing another country.”

Petersen says Argentina hopes to open the facility before the 2024 Copa América, which will be held in the U.S. as part of the buildup to the 2026 World Cup in North America.

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