New York area to host Gold Cup

Red Bull Arena and the New Meadowlands Stadium, both in nearby New Jersey, will host games during the 20th playing of the biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament next summer, June 5-25.

Red Bull Arena in Harrison, home of the MLS New York Red Bulls club, will host a group stage match on Monday, June 13, while The New Meadowlands Stadium, which staged several Gold Cup games in the past, including the Mexico-USA semifinal in 2009, will host a quarterfinal doubleheader on Saturday, June 18.

The tournament will open on June 5 at Dallas Cowboy Stadium and continue at stadiums that will host games for the first time: Detroit’s Ford Field, Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium, Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina and Kansas City Soccer Stadium in Kansas.

Meanwhile, familiar venues such as The Home Depot Center in Carson, California; Chicago’s Soldier Field, site of the 2007 final, and FIU (Florida International University) Stadium in Miami will see action during the competition.

RFK Stadium will host the other quarterfinal doubleheader, on Sunday, June 19, Houston’s Reliant Stadium will be the site of the semifinals on Wednesday, June 22, and the final will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Saturday, June 25. These sites have hosted games in the past.

“We are very excited about our cities and venues,” CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer said. “Each will add a distinct flavor to the event and will help make this the best Gold Cup to date.”

Teams that have already qualified for the Gold Cup, the competition to determine the champion among national teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, are Canada, defending champion Mexico, the U.S., Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Cuba and Grenada. The Central American teams will be decided during the area’s regional tournament, Jan. 14 – 23 in Panama.

Jamaica versus Trinidad

Rivals Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were drawn in the same preliminary round group for the CONCACAF Under-17 final stage of qualifying to reach the FIFA Under-17 Youth World Cup next summer. The drawing was held last Wednesday in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where the tournament will be staged from Feb. 14 – 27. Also in this Group C is Guatemala.

In other results of the draw, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Haiti will tangle in Group A, Group B will see the U. S., Panama and Cuba do battle, and Group D consists of Barbados, Honduras and Canada. The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals, where Groups A and B winners will play the second-placed teams from Groups C and D, respectively, and Group C and D winners will face the second-placed teams from Groups A and B.

The semifinals are set for Feb. 25 and the final for Feb. 27. The semifinalists, along with Mexico, will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Mexico qualifies as the host of the FIFA tournament, which will be held June 18 – July 10.

Inter Wins

International of Milan (Inter), defeated African team TP Mazembe of the Congo, 3-0, to win the FIFA World Club Championship last Saturday in Saudi Arabia. After the win, Inter coach, Rafael Benitez appealed to the team’s management to support him “one hundred percent.” Benitez urged the club’s management to but “four or five players to build a stronger team…”