Costa Rica to face El Salvador on opening night of Gold Cup
NEW YORK – Central American foes and World Cup hopefuls Costa Rica and El Salvador will face off to headline an opening doubleheader in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 3 at The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, highlighting the first day of the 10th edition of the 12-team championship.
The match will follow a clash between Canada and Jamaica that will open the tournament and play in Group A.
The two-time defending champion United States will play the following day, American Independence Day, in Seattle against Grenada in Group B, which also will include Honduras and Haiti.
Mexico will anchor Group C, which will begin in San Francisco on July 5 with Panama facing Guadeloupe and El Tri playing Nicaragua.
“We’re excited at having created these groups. They are well balanced and will provide very interesting matches,” CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer said. “Given the variety of teams and the cities we’re going to, it offers something for everyone.”
After the openers, Group A will move on to Columbus, Ohio, on July 7 for a second doubleheader, and will conclude the first round in Miami at FIU Stadium on July 10.
Group B will leave Seattle for a doubleheader in Washington on July 8 and finish in Boston on July 11. Group C will play its second doubleheader in Houston on July 9 and then wrap up the first round in Phoenix on July 12.
The two-week private pre-sale will begin today, Thursday, April 2, 2009. Fans can call the local stadium box office or local MLS team for further information. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 17 through www.Ticketmaster.com, www.Tickets.com (Oakland) and www.Completeticketsolutions.com (Miami).
The Gold Cup, which has seen record attendances and television ratings in each of the past two competitions (2005 and 2007), will be played coast-to-coast at an unprecedented 13 venues this year.
“We’ve been successful in the past creating entertaining match-ups and I think this year will continue that tradition,” Blazer said.
Each group has at least one representative from CONCACAF’s three geographic regions: North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals along with the two best third-place teams.
The winners of Groups A & B will head to Philadelphia for their quarterfinals on July 18 while the Group C winner will play in Dallas the following day.
The winners of the Philadelphia quarterfinals will face off in one semifinal on July 23 in Chicago’s Soldier Field, and the Dallas quarterfinal winners will contest the other. The semifinal winners will meet for the title Sunday, July 26 in Giants Stadium.
GROUP A: Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica
GROUP B: Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, USA
GROUP C: Guadeloupe, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
Friday, July 3 – Los Angeles (The Home Depot Center)
- Canada vs. Jamaica, 5 p.m. (8 p.m. EDT)
- Costa Rica vs. El Salvador, 7 p.m. (10 p.m. EDT)
Saturday, July 4 – Seattle (Qwest Field)
- Honduras vs. Haiti, 4 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
- Grenada vs. USA, 6 p.m. (9 p.m. EDT)
Sunday, July 5 – San Francisco (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum)
- Panama vs. Guadeloupe, 2 p.m. (5 p.m. EDT)
- Nicaragua vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
Tuesday, July 7 – Columbus, Ohio (Crew Stadium)
- Jamaica vs. Costa Rica, 7 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
- El Salvador vs. Canada, 9 p.m. (9 p.m. EDT)
Wednesday, July 8 – Washington (Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium)
- Haiti vs. Grenada, 7 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
- USA vs. Honduras, 9 p.m. (9 p.m. EDT)
Thursday, July 9 – Houston (Reliant Stadium)
- Guadeloupe vs. Nicaragua, 7 p.m. (8 p.m. EDT)
- Mexico vs. Panama, 9 p.m. (10 p.m. EDT)
Friday, July 10 – Miami (Florida International University Stadium)
- Costa Rica vs. Canada, 7 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
- El Salvador vs. Jamaica, 9 p.m. (9 p.m. EDT)
Saturday, July 11 – Boston (Gillette Stadium)
- USA vs. Haiti, 7 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
- Honduras vs. Grenada, 9 p.m. (9 p.m. EDT)
Sunday, July 12 – Phoenix (University of Phoenix Stadium)
- Panama vs. Nicaragua, 2 p.m. (5 p.m. EDT)
- Mexico vs. Guadeloupe, 4 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
Saturday, July 18 – Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field)
- Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up, TBA (x)
- Group B winner vs. Group A/C third-place, TBA (x)
- x-matches scheduled for 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. with order TBD
Sunday, July 19 – Dallas (Dallas Cowboys New Stadium)
- Group C runner-up vs. Group A runner-up, TBA (y)
- Group C winner vs. Group A/B third place, TBA (y)
- y-matches scheduled for 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. local (4 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT) with order TBD
Thursday, July 23 – Chicago (Soldier Field)
- Philadelphia quarterfinal winners, TBA (z)
- Dallas quarterfinal winners, TBA (z)
- z-matches scheduled for 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. local (7 p.m. and 10 p.m. EDT) with order TBD
Saturday, July 26 – New York (Giants Stadium)
- Semifinal winners, 3 p.m. (3 p.m. EDT)