Philly Sports Live

CONCACAF Announces 2013 Gold Cup Venues

rose bowl

rose bowl

The Confederation of North, Central and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced the thirteen US cities to host the 2013 Gold Cup.  More than thirty venues submitted initial bids in March of 2012, including Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia & PPL Park in Chester, neither of which were selected.  The 22nd edition of the biennial regional championship will kick off on July 7th and culminate with the championship game on July 28th.

concacaf

image courtesy of CONCACAF

The host venues include:

Atlanta, GA – The Georgia Dome

Baltimore, MD – M&T Bank Stadium

Chicago, IL – Soldier Field

Arlington, TX – Cowboys’ Stadium

Denver, CO – Sports Authority Field

Harrison, NJ – Red Bull Arena

Hartford, CT – Rentschler Field

Houston, TX – BBVA Compass Stadium

Miami, FL – Sun Life Stadium

Pasadena, CA – Rose Bowl

Portland, OR* – JELD-WEN Field

Sandy, UT – Rio Tinto Stadium

Seattle, WA* – Century Link Field

*Independent Republic of Cascadia

Eleven of the twelve teams that will compete in the tournament have already qualified, with the United States, Mexico and Canada, the automatic berths, being joined by Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Martinique and Haiti from the Caribbean region, and Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador from Central America.  The final slot will go to either Guatemala or Panama, who will contest the 5th place match of the Copa Centroamericana on Friday.

Once all the teams are known, they will be drawn into groups and assigned to locations for preliminary round games.  Games are often assigned due to demographics and travel distance.

The championship will most likely be held in Chicago, which last hosted the final in 2007, when the US defeated Mexico on Benny Feilhaber’s long distance volley.  The US fell to Mexico 5-0 in the 2009 final at Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands, and 4-2 in a heart breaker at the Rose Bowl in 2011.  The US and Mexico have won all but one of the tournaments since 1991.  Canada was a surprise winner in 2000.

This is the second straight tournament that Philadelphia has not been awarded a match.  Lincoln Financial Field hosted a quarterfinal double header on July 18, 2009, with Honduras defeating Canada 1-0 and the US downing Panama 2-1.

The failure to secure a Gold Cup match could be good news for Philadelphia-based USMNT fans, however.  With three venues in driving distance (Hartford, Harrison & Baltimore), catching a game shouldn’t be much of a chore, and the site selection effectively knocks several contender cities for Hex matches out of the running.  Salt Lake City, New York, Hartford, Portland and Seattle were all possible hosts for the two remaining unassigned qualifiers, and it is unlikely that the USSF would assign two USMNT matches to one of those cities in the same cycle. (Though not impossible; Denver will host the US / Costa Rica match in March and a Gold Cup match in July, though in different venues.)  This leaves Philadelphia and Nashville as the most likely sites for the remaining two hex matches.

Stick with Philly Sports Live for continuing Gold Cup and USMNT news

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