Gold Cup Groupings Announced

Canada has been drawn in Group D for the CONCACAF Gold Cup this July. Group D will consist of Canada, Costa Rica and the winner of the Caribbean Zone tournament, between Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, Antigua & Barbuda and Guadeloupe.



Canada will play its two round robin games at Foxboro, Massachusetts (Gillette Stadium) beginning with a game against Costa Rica on July 12 and then against the Caribbean team on July 14.

NEW YORK (11 March 2003) – The group formations and match schedule for the seventh edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship for national teams of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, were announced today.



Twelve teams will again take part, including two guest teams from CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, as the tournament is played in three cities – Foxboro, Massachusetts and Miami, Florida in the USA, as well as in Mexico City – from 12-27 July 2003.



The host countries, USA and Mexico, will play in Groups A and C respectively and could continue to play at home through the semifinals, if they reach that stage. The final will be at Estadio Azteca, as Mexico becomes a host country for the first time since 1993. Colombia, defending Copa America champion, will head Group B and Costa Rica, losing finalist in the last Gold Cup, will head Group D.



The format for the tournament will be similar to the 2002 event, won by the USA in a 2:0 victory against Costa Rica in the final. The first round will consist of four groups of three teams, each playing the others once, with the top two in each group advancing to the quarterfinals.



Group A will be played at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the only stadium in the world to have hosted two FIFA World Cup finals (1970 and 1986). Playing in Mexico will be the host country, three-time champion of the Gold Cup, who will be joined by Brazil and one of the two qualifiers from the Interzone (Caribbean and Central zones) playoff.



The Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida USA will play host to Group B, with defending Copa America champion Colombia heading the group. They will be joined by Guatemala and the winner of one of the Caribbean Zone final tournaments, matching Jamaica, Haiti, Martinique and Saint Lucia.



Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts will play host to the remaining two groups. Group C will be comprised of the USA, El Salvador and the second of the Interzone playoff qualifiers. Group D will consist of Costa Rica, Canada and the winner of the other Caribbean Zone tournament, between Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, Antigua & Barbuda and Guadeloupe.



Matches in Groups A and B will be played on 13, 15 and 17 July, while Groups C and D will play on 12, 14 and 16 July. The opening day of the Gold Cup, 12 July at Gillette Stadium, is sure to be a tremendous day for soccer fans in the USA, as the two Gold Cup matches surround a Major League Soccer match between New England Revolution and NY/NJ MetroStars for an exciting tripleheader.



Quarterfinals 1 and 2 will be played in Foxboro on 19 July, while Quarterfinal 3 will be played in Mexico City and Quarterfinal 4 in Miami, both of those on 20 July. As host nations, Mexico and the USA will be automatically placed into Quarterfinals 1 and 3 respectively, should they qualify.



Quarterfinal 1 will match the winner of Group C against the second-place team from Group D, while Quarterfinal 2 will pair the Group D winner against the second-place finisher in Group C – unless the USA finish second in Group C, in which case they will face the Group B winner, with the reverse pairing to follow in Foxboro.



The same case will apply in Mexico City: Quarterfinal 3 will match the Group A winner against the second-place team from Group B, unless Mexico finish second in Group A, in which they will play in that quarterfinal against the Group B winner. Quarterfinal 4 will be the remaining crossover pairing from Groups A and B at the Orange Bowl in Miami.



Semifinal 1, which will match the winner of Quarterfinal 1 against the winner of Quarterfinal 4, will be played 23 July in Miami. Semifinal 2, pairing the winners of Quarterfinals 2 and 3, will be held the following evening in Mexico City. The third-place match is set for 26 July at the Orange Bowl, with the final on Sunday afternoon 27 July at Estadio Azteca.



The three previous champions in the six prior tournaments – Canada, Mexico and the USA – are all granted direct entry into the finals. In the recently concluded Central Zone qualifying tournament, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador all booked their places.



Two teams will qualify directly from the Caribbean Zone qualifying tournaments set for 26-30 March, each winner from the four-team events to be played in Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica. The second-place teams in each Caribbean final will join Honduras (Central Zone fourth-place finisher) in a three-team playoff to be played by the end of April, the top two advancing to round out the 10 CONCACAF participants. The precise placement of the Interzone qualifiers will be determined following completion of the playoff, based on competitive, commercial and security concerns.



12.07.2003 FOXBORO

D1: COSTA RICA v D2: CANADA (13:00)

C1: USA v C2: EL SALVADOR (18:30)



13.07.2003 MEXICO CITY

A1: MEXICO v A2: BRAZIL (12:00)

13.07.2003 MIAMI

B3: CARIBBEAN A v B1: COLOMBIA (15:00)



14.07.2003 FOXBORO

D2: CANADA v D3: CARIBBEAN B (18:30)

C3: INTERZONE 2* v C1: USA (20:30)



15.07.2003 MIAMI

B2: GUATEMALA v B3: CARIBBEAN A (19:00)

15.07.2003 MEXICO CITY

A2: BRAZIL v A3: INTERZONE 1* (20:00)



16.07.2003 FOXBORO

D3: CARIBBEAN B v D1: COSTA RICA (18:30)

C2: EL SALVADOR v C3: INTERZONE 2* (20:30)



17.07.2003 MIAMI

B1: COLOMBIA v B2: GUATEMALA (20:00)

17.07.2003 MEXICO CITY

A3: INTERZONE 1* v A1: MEXICO (21:00)



19.07.2003 FOXBORO

QF1: WINNER GRP C v 2nd GRP D** (15:00)

QF2: WINNER GRP D v 2nd GRP C** (18:00)



20.07.2003 MEXICO CITY

QF3: WINNER GRP A v 2nd GRP B** (12:00)

20.07.2003 MIAMI

QF4: WINNER GRP B v 2nd GRP A** (16:00)



23.07.2003 MIAMI

SF1: WINNER QF1 v WINNER QF4 (20:00)



24.07.2003 MEXICO CITY

SF2: WINNER QF2 v WINNER QF3 (21:00)



26.07.2003 MIAMI

THIRD-PLACE MATCH (semifinal losers) (20:00)



27.07.2003 MEXICO CITY

FINAL (semifinal winners) (12:00)



ALL TIMES LOCAL TO VENUE

* — precise placement of qualifiers from Interzone playoff to be determined following tournament, based on competitive, commercial and security concerns

— as host countries, should Mexico and USA qualify for the quarterfinals, they will play in Quarterfinals 1 and 3 respectively regardless of whether they finish first or second in their groups. The pairings remain the same, to be repositioned as necessary.





Group A – Mexico City 7/13-15-17

Mexico

Brazil

Interzonal qualifier



Group B – Miami 7/13-15-17

Colombia

Guatemala

winner of Jamaica/Haiti/Martinique/St. Lucia



Group C – Foxboro 7/12-14-16

USA

El Salvador

Interzonal qualifier



Group D – Foxboro 7/12-14-16

Costa Rica

Canada

winner of Trinidad&Tobago/Antigua&Barbuda/Guadaloupe



Note: runners-up of the two Carribean groups join Honduras to determine the two Interzonal qualifiers.

Note: 7/12 Group C & D games will bookend an MLS game for a tripleheader.

Guidelines for the Return to Soccer

Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.