Socceroos coach keen to play Copa America

Australian coach Graham Arnold has confirmed the Socceroos have been invited to play in the 2020 Copa America.

Sydney FC coach GRAHAM ARNOLD looks on during the AFC Asian Champions League match between Sydney FC and Suwon Bluewings at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
Sydney FC coach GRAHAM ARNOLD looks on during the AFC Asian Champions League match between Sydney FC and Suwon Bluewings at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold says Australia's inclusion in the prestigious Copa America tournament next year would do wonders for his inexperienced squad.

The two most recent Asian Cup champions, Australia and Qatar, have been invited to play in the 2020 tournament which features 10 countries from South America an two guest nations.

The Socceroos are rebuilding for the 2022 World Cup and in the Copa America, they could come up against players like Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar.

Arnold said it would be a fantastic opportunity for his squad to face some of the world's best players.

"It's really (an) exciting opportunity, not only (for) myself and the players but for the country," Arnold said.

"The invitation, I believe, is there. I think there's still a fair bit of paperwork to go through yet but until that's done, I pretty much can't say too much but it's something that would be absolutely fantastic for the players and the nation.

"Players (who) get the opportunity to play in those type of games and those type of tournaments ... go up to another level.

"And when they go to another level, they go to a bigger stage at club-land so it's a great opportunity for everyone."

A largely inexperienced Australian side will face South Korea in a friendly in Busan on Friday, with stars Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan and Tom Rogic all rested.

It marks the Socceroos' first game since losing in the Asian Cup quarterfinals to the United Arab Emirates in January.

The Asian Cup was Arnold's first tournament in charge after he replaced interim coach Bert van Marwijk, who oversaw the Socceroos disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia last year.

Australia's qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup begin in September.


AAP