2 Houston venues to host 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor
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HOUSTON - Two Houston venues -- NRG Stadium and BBVA Compass Stadium -- will host the 2019 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, Gold Cup matches.

Two rounds will be hosted in Houston next summer, the confederation announced Thursday.

“We are a major sports destination with the best fans in the nation,” said Harris County Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Schmees Burke. “The fact that we have two fabulous venues capable of successfully hosting a Gold Cup match is a true testament to how special our community has become in the global sports realm.”

The Gold Cup is the official national team championship of the region. It takes place every two years.

In 2019, 16 teams will be included and 15 venues will host matches.

BBVA Compass Stadium has been a part of every Gold Cup since the facility opened in 2012. The home of the Dynamo has hosted a match in four consecutive tournaments.

“We are proud to host the CONCACAF Gold Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium for the fourth consecutive tournament,” said Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti. "We take pride in being the home of soccer in Houston for all fans of the beautiful game, and we are looking forward to what promises to be another outstanding event next summer."

The first time BBVA Compass Stadium hosted matches was in 2013, when Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti played in Houston. Two years later, fans witnessed back-to-back stoppage time goals in two thrilling contests as Jamaica defeated Canada and Costa Rica tied El Salvador in downtown Houston. Then, in 2017, teenage sensation Alphonso Davies led Canada to a draw with Costa Rica while Houston Dynamo stars Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto led Honduras against French Guiana.

NRG Stadium has been host to the Gold Cup four times previously, most recently in 2011, when it hosted the tournament semifinals. The stadium has also hosted a quarterfinal doubleheader twice in the past.

“We are honored that Houston and NRG Stadium were selected to host the 2019 edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup,” said Jamey Rootes, president of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. “Since our first international soccer match in Houston in 2003, the sport has grown tremendously in this region and Houston has become one of the leading soccer markets in America. This is a great opportunity for soccer fans to see some of the world’s best teams play right here in Houston. We look forward to once again welcoming the soccer world to our community next June."

The United States topped Panama 1-0 and Mexico defeated Honduras 2-0 in the 2011 semifinals at NRG Stadium, setting up an epic tournament final. In 2007, the quarterfinal doubleheader in the stadium saw Mexico defeat Costa Rica 1-0 and Guadeloupe upset Honduras 2-1. In 2005, Colombia, an invited guest from South America, topped Mexico 2-1 and Panama defeated South Africa, another invitee, 5-3 on penalties to advance to the semifinals. NRG Stadium also hosted group stage matches in the 2005, 2007 and 2009 tournaments.

Eight Gold Cup host markets, including Houston, have been announced as the United Bid’s final candidate host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The six national teams that participated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Hexagonal qualifier round -- Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States – are automatically qualified to be in the 2019 Gold Cup. The 10 additional participating nations in the 2019 Gold Cup will qualify through CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers, to be played on FIFA match dates in September, October and November 2018 and March 2019.

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