MIAMI – CONCACAF confirmed Friday that the United States will host the 2018 edition of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, scheduled to be played Oct. 4-17.
The United States will welcome the region’s top women’s national teams for the tournament, which will crown the Confederation champion, and also qualify three teams directly to the Women’s World Cup in France in 2019, plus the fourth-place finisher to an intercontinental playoff.
“Concacaf has long been the home of the highest quality women’s football in the world, so we know fans across the region will be marking their calendars in October for this high-stakes championship,” CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the Championship play out in the United States, as well as the upcoming qualifying rounds of the competition, which in the spirit of access will involve an impressive amount of Caribbean and Central American nations which are currently focused on growing the women’s game at the highest levels.”
“As hosts of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, we’re thrilled to welcome top national women’s teams from our region as they strive to secure a spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. “The women’s game continues to grow across our region, and this event provides another opportunity for these athletes to compete at the very highest level. We’re confident that in cooperation with Concacaf, we will stage an exciting tournament for both the fans and the teams.”
The championship will include a field of eight teams. The United States, as host and defending champion, will participate alongside North American qualifiers Canada and Mexico. The five remaining participants will qualify via the 2018 CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Qualifier and CONCACAF Central America Women’s Qualifier.
Venues, dates and information on the location and format of the tournament draw will be announced in the coming weeks.
Steve Goff of the Washington Post reported Thursday that the group stage had been tenatively planned for WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. and H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas. The semifinals, third-place game and final at Toyota Stadium would be played in Frisco, Texas.
In the previous edition of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship played in Washington D.C., Chicago, Kansas City and Philadelphia in 2014, the United States claimed the title – seventh overall, with a 6-0 win over Costa Rica in the final.
The Caribbean qualifiers are set to kick off May 5 and will be held in two stages. For the first round of the regional qualifying tournament, the member associations will be sorted into three groups of five and two groups of four teams.
The final round of Caribbean qualifying will be held July 21-29, among the first-round group winners. The top three finishers of the final round will qualify to the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
In Central America, the qualifying tournament will be held in Nicaragua from July 6-10. After round-robin play, the top two finishers will advance to the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.