CONCACAF confirms 14 venues to host matches at the 2017 Gold Cup
CONCACAF has selected 14 venues to host matches at the 2017 Gold Cup. The group stage dates, as well as the group assignments for Mexico and the United States -- the qualified seeded nations -- have also been finalized.
Complete groups and the full schedule, including selection of dates and assignment of matches for the knockout round and the awarding of the final, will be announced next year.
The 2017 Gold Cup will feature four first-time hosts: the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas; FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio; Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California; and Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Returning in 2017 are 10 previous Gold Cup host venues: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia; Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida; Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey; the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California; Sports Authority Field in Denver; Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas; University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona; and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
"We're excited to bring the Gold Cup to new markets across the country. These cities have all proved ready and eager to host our region's marquee international soccer championship, and welcome world class soccer next summer," said CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio.
"With matches also set for some of our more popular venues over the years, such as Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, next year's Gold Cup will highlight the top-tier sporting status of international soccer across the nation."
CONCACAF also announced that the U.S., which will be playing in the tournament under newly appointed manager Bruce Arena, has been placed in Group B. That means the U.S. will play its group stage games at Nashville's Nissan Stadium on July 8, Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on July 12, and Cleveland's FirstEnergy Stadium on July 15.
Mexico has been placed in Group C, meaning it will begin play in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on July 9, which will be followed by matches at Denver's Sports Authority Field on July 13, and then at the Alamodome in San Antonio on July 16.
The top seed for Group A is still to be determined due to the fact that the tournament field is not complete.
To date, seven of the twelve national teams scheduled to participate have qualified for next year's tournament. Canada, Mexico and the United States automatically qualify for the Gold Cup in representation of North America. The UNCAF Central American Cup, to be played in Panama this January, will determine that region's representatives, with the top four finishers from the tournament qualifying for the Gold Cup.
Curacao, French Guiana, Jamaica, and Martinique, qualified by winning their groups in the recently completed semifinal stage of the CFU Caribbean Cup. Three additional Caribbean nations, Haiti, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, have qualified for an additional series of matches in January, the winner of which will face-off next year in a two-leg playoff against the fifth-place team from the Central American Cup to determine the final participant in the Gold Cup.
The group stage venues and dates are as follows:
July 7, Group A -- Red Bull Arena (Harrison, New Jersey)
July 8, Group B -- Nissan Stadium (Nashville)
July 9, Group C -- Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego)
July 11, Group A -- BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston)
July 12, Group B -- Raymond James Stadium (Tampa)
July 13, Group C -- Sports Authority Field (Denver)
July 14, Group A -- Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
July 15, Group B -- FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)
July 16, Group C -- Alamodome (San Antonio)
Knockout Round venues (in alphabetical order by metropolitan area):
Bay Area -- Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, California)
Dallas -- AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Los Angeles -- Rose Bowl (Pasadena, California)
Philadelphia -- Lincoln Financial Field
Phoenix -- University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Arizona)
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.