By Paul Nicholson
April 13 – Concacaf will celebrate the easing of lockdown and hopefully a break in the pandemic with an all singing all dancing Gold Cup Final in Las Vegas on August 1.
“2021 is Concacaf’s 60th anniversary year making this edition extra special for players and fans. The federations and their teams are looking forward to this tournament with great anticipation and it is fitting that the regional champion will be crowned in such an outstanding venue and famous city,” said Concacaf president and FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani.
Las Vegas has hosted a number of big sports events – particularly in boxing – but it is the first time the city has hosted a major championship football (soccer) event and the first time the Gold Cup has been played in the city
The 65,000 Allegiant Stadium was opened in July 2020 and is the home of the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team who took up residency having move from Oakland in California.
has will play the final of its 2021 Gold Cup in Las Vegas at the Allegiant Stadium, the destination’s newest state-of-the-art sports venue.
Steve Hill, CEO/president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to host an event of this caliber, and with world-class entertainment, dining, outdoor adventure and sports facilities, we’re confident the teams and their fans will find an unforgettable, Only Vegas experience.”
Before the two finalists arrive in Vegas, 25 teams will have battled through a 12 team preliminary qualifying round for the final three group slots (four groups of four teams), followed by quarter and semi-final knock out rounds.
The preliminary rounds begin in Florida, centralised at the DRV PNK Stadium, home of MLS’s Inter Miami CF, between July 2-6. The four group stages kick off the following week on July 10 at venues expected to be announced later this month.
The tournament will then bubble up to the Las Vegas finale in one of the US’s newest, shiniest and most modern stadia. Raiders president Marc Badain said: “The Gold Cup stands out among the many world-class events that will be hosted at Allegiant Stadium, and we are excited to bring Concacaf’s signature event to the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World.”
Gold Cup Schedule
Round One – July 2 and 3
Matchup #1: Haiti vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Matchup #2: Guatemala vs Guyana
Matchup #3: Trinidad and Tobago vs Monserrat
Matchup #4: Cuba vs French Guiana
Matchup #5: Guadeloupe vs Bahamas
Matchup #6: Bermuda vs Barbados
The six Round One winners will qualify for the second round and will play as follows:
Round Two – July 6
Matchup #7: Winner Matchup #1 vs Winner Matchup #6
Matchup #8: Winner Matchup #2 vs Winner Matchup #5
Matchup #9: Winner Matchup #3 vs Winner Matchup #4
Group Stage – Starts July 10
Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao and Winner Prelims 9
Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique and Winner Prelims 7
Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8
Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada and Qatar.
Knock Out rounds
Quarterfinal #1: Winner Group D vs Second Place Group A
Quarterfinal #4: Winner Group B vs Second Place Group C
Quarterfinal #2: Winner Group A vs Second Place Group D
Quarterfinal #3: Winner Group C vs Second Place Group B
Semifinal #1: Winner Quarterfinal #1 vs Winner Quarterfinal #4
Semifinal #2: Winner Quarterfinal #2 vs Winner Quarterfinal #3
Final: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner SF #2
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