U.S. Soccer to set the stage of 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in North Carolina and Texas
USA Will Head Group A at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Canada Will Head Group B at H-E-B Park; Semifinals, Third-Place Match, and Championship Game Will Take Place at Toyota Stadium
All Matches to Qualify for 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Will be Televised by FOX Sports Family of Networks
Women’s Soccer News: The 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will qualify three teams to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and a fourth into a two-game playoff with the third-place team from South America, will be played in three host cities: Cary, N.C., Edinburg, Texas, and Frisco, Texas, home of the new National Soccer Hall of Fame, which is set to open just three days after the completion of the qualifying tournament.
On March 23, Concacaf announced that the tournament would be played in the United States and would take place from Oct. 4-17. The competition will feature eight countries divided into two groups of four. After round-robin play within the groups, the top two finishers from each group will move on to the all-important semifinals.
FOX Sports, the home of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will present 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship coverage across the FOX Sports family of networks.
The USA, which is ranked first in the world, will be seeded into Group A while Canada, which is ranked fourth, will be seeded into Group B. The USA, Canada, and Mexico have automatic berths into the tournament.
The five remaining participants will qualify via the upcoming 2018 Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifier and 2018 Concacaf Central America Women’s Qualifier. The placement in the groups for the other six teams will become known at the Final Draw later this year.
All three first-round doubleheaders in Group A – which will take place on Oct. 4, 7 and 10 – will be played at the 10,000-seat Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
“We are excited to host the United States Women’s National Team in the Concacaf Women’s Championship at Sahlen’s Stadium in coordination with the Town of Cary,” said Curt Johnson, North Carolina Football Club President and General Manager. “Our fans will have the opportunity to see the best players in the world, including several NC Courage players, as they compete in an important tournament to ultimately earn a FIFA Women’s World Cup berth.”
All three doubleheaders in Group B – which will be played on Oct. 5, 8 and 11 – will take place at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas, a 9,700-seat stadium that is home to the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros of the USL and is one of the top venues in the league.
The top two finishers in each group will then cross over to meet in the all-important semifinals on Oct. 14 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The Third-Place Match and Championship Game will be at Toyota Stadium on Oct. 17.
- The matches in Cary, N.C. will be a continuation of a long history for high level soccer events at the venue. The U.S. Women have played there seven times, most recently in a 6-0 win against South Korea in October of 2017, and have won all seven. The U.S. MNT played Paraguay there on March 27 of this year and played Jamaica in Cary in 2006. The venue is also home to the 2017 NWSL Shield winners North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC of the USL.
- H-E-B Stadium is a sparkling soccer-specific venue that opened in March 2017 and sits just under 20 miles from the Mexican border. Amenities include a full-service restaurant, executive lounges, a sports bar and 33 suites. Park grounds include practice fields, recreation areas, a playground and an amphitheater with a capacity for over 2,000. H-E-B Park has hosted professional soccer, musical concerts and high school sporting events.
- Toyota Stadium, home to FC Dallas of Major League Soccer and the new National Soccer Hall of Fame, has also hosted seven U.S. WNT matches in the past. The 20,500-seat soccer-specific stadium opened in 2005 and anchors the Toyota Soccer Center, a 145-acre multipurpose sports and entertainment facility that features 17 tournament-sized fields. It is also the home stadium for the FCS Championship Game, the Frisco Bowl and a variety of concerts, tournaments and other events.
- Toyota Stadium also hosted a first round group for 2016 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying. The USA won all three of its group games there, defeating Costa Rica (5-0), Mexico (1-0) and Puerto Rico (10-0).
- The 2018 Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifier is set to kick off on May 5 and will be disputed in two stages among 23 participating Member Associations.
- For the First Round of the regional qualifying tournament, the Caribbean teams will be sorted into three groups of five teams and two groups of four. The participating teams are (in alphabetical order): Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands.
- The Final Round of Caribbean qualifying, featuring the first-round group winners, will be contested from July 21-29. The top three finishers of the final round will qualify to the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship.
- In Central America, the qualifying tournament will be played in Nicaragua from July 6-10 and will feature the hosts, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama. After round-robin play, the top two finishers will advance to the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship.
- This will be the fourth time the USA has hosted the Concacaf Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament. In October of 2014, the USA hosted the tournament in Kansas City, Kansas, Bridgeview, Ill., Washington, D.C. and Chester, Pa. The USA won the tournament, defeating Mexico 3-0 in the semifinal to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and then downed Costa Rica 6-0 in the championship game.
- In 2006, the USA hosted a four-team tournament in Carson, Calif., called the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, and defeated Mexico 2-0 to earn a berth to the 2007 Women’s World Cup before triumphing over Canada, 2-1, in overtime in the championship game.
- In 2002, the USA split hosting responsibilities with Canada when games were played in Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. In that tournament, also called the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, the USA defeated Costa Rica 7-0 in the semifinal to qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup (which was later moved to the USA due to the SARS outbreak in China), and beat Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Source: Press Release, NC Courage