Houston to host Gold Cup semifinal game

March 8, 2011 1:54:30 PM PST
The United States will play Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe in the first round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, soccer's championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. The Americans open Group C play in the 12-nation tournament against Canada on June 7 at Detroit, play Panama four days later at Tampa, Fla., and close the first round against Guadeloupe on June 14 at Kansas City, Kan., under the schedule announced Tuesday.

Defending champion Mexico is in Group A with Costa Rica, Cuba and El Salvador. Group C includes Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica.

If the U.S. wins its group, it would play a quarterfinal at Washington, D.C., on June 19 against the third-place team from Group A or B. The semifinals are in Houston on June 22, with the final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on June 25.

The winner receives a berth in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, preparation for the World Cup to be held there the following year.

Mexico opens against El Salvador on June 5 at Arlington, Texas, plays Cuba four days later at Charlotte, N.C., and completes the opening round against Costa Rica on June 12 in Chicago. If El Tri wins the group, its quarterfinal would be June 18 in East Rutherford, N.J.

In the semifinals, the East Rutherford quarterfinals winners meet, and the Washington winners play each other.

The U.S. won the Gold Cup in 1991, 2002, 2005 and 2007, while Mexico won in 1993, 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2009. Canada won the 2000 tournament.