The U.S., the two-time defending Gold Cup champion, will face Haiti at 7 p.m. in the second match of a soccer tripleheader that day. The second Gold Cup game will feature Honduras and Grenada at 9 p.m. The day’s events will kick off with a Major League Soccer tilt with the host New England Revolution facing the Kansas City Wizards at 4 p.m.”
Tickets are already on sale, and additional details can be obtained by calling the Revolution ticket office at 1-877-GET-REVS, or Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).
The bill be divided into three groups of four teams each, with the top two, as well as the two best third-place teams, advancing to the next round.
The drawing placed the U.S., the two-time defending Gold Cup champion, in Group B, along with Grenada, Haiti and Honduras. Group A is made up of Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Jamaica, while Group C consists of Mexico, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua and Panama.
“For the first time in CONCACAF Gold Cup history, matches will be played on state-of-the-art, latest generation FieldTurf surfaces in stadiums that are already so equipped, including Gillette Stadium,” according to the release.
Also this week, it was revealed that Gillette Stadium is one of 70 sites across the United States that was contacted by The USA Bid Committee in preparation for a formal bid by the United States to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.
The 70 stadiums contacted include more than 50 metropolitan markets and “range in market size from New York City, where the new Meadowlands Stadium will open in 2010 in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., to college town markets such as Lincoln, Neb., and Fayetteville, Ark. The outreach by U.S. Soccer and the USA Bid Committee truly represents a national campaign to welcome the return of the world’s most popular sporting event to the United States, with the comprehensive mix of metro markets and world class venues representing a chief asset of the U.S. bid.”
“The United States is uniquely qualified to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 as demonstrated by the dozens of metropolitan markets with venues capable of staging World Cup matches in every respect, from the quality of their stadiums to their overall ability to accommodate thousands of fans, news media and visitors from around the world,” said Sunil Gulati. “We will soon begin discussions with officials from throughout the U.S. in the name of presenting a world class proposal to FIFA and the global soccer community.”
The letters were mailed last week and “outline the bid process and criteria for venue selection. FIFA calls for each bidding nation to propose a minimum of 12 stadiums, each capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. Out of the 70 stadiums under consideration, more than 65 have a capacity above 60,000, and more than 20 have a capacity above 80,000.”
The Old Foxboro Stadium was one of nine venues used in the 1994 World Cup, which at the time set a new overall attendance record of 3,587,538 fans, a mark that has not been surpassed in the three tournaments held since then.
Venues interested in being part of the USA bid must respond by April 17 as FIFA set May as the deadline to submit bids.
In addition to the United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia are also submitting individual bids, while Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain are sending joint bids.
Once the bids are submitted, FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will then conduct site visits and review all of the applications. This lengthy process, which will take 21 months months, will finally conclude in December 2010 when FIFA will name the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger will be one of key figures in the US candidacy.
“The support and commitment of Dr. Kissinger is extremely significant and representative of the spirit that will drive our U.S. bid from this day forward,” said Gulati. “We will continue introduce new leadership to the USA Bid Committee in the weeks ahead to show the nation, and the world, how serious and determined we are to bring the World Cup here in 2018 or 2022.”