Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. will try to qualify for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in Frisco, Texas in October. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
CHICAGO – The 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship will be held in three cities: Cary, N.C., Edinburg Texas and Frisco, Texas.
The competition, will will run from Oct. 4-17, will qualify three teams to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and a fourth into a two-game playoff with the third-place team from South America.
The final is in Frisco, home of the new National Soccer Hall of Fame, which is set to open three days after the completion of the qualifying tournament.
The tournament will feature eight countries divided into two groups of four. After round-robin play within the groups, the top two finishers from each group will move on to the all-important semifinals.
FOX Sports, the home of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, will present 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship coverage across the FOX Sports family of networks.
The USA, which is ranked first in the world, will be seeded into Group A.
Canada, which is ranked fourth, will be seeded into Group B.
The USA, Canada and Mexico have automatic berths into the tournament. The five remaining participants will qualify via the upcoming CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Qualifier and CONCACAF Central America Women’s Qualifier. The placement in the groups for the other six teams will become known at the final draw later this year.
All three first-round doubleheaders in Group A, which will take place on Oct. 4, 7 and 10, will be played at the 10,000-seat Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
All three doubleheaders in Group B, which will be played on Oct. 5, 8 and 11, will take place at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas, a 9,700-seat stadium that is home to the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros of the United Soccer League.
The top two finishers in each group will then cross over to meet in the semifinals Oct. 14 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. The third-place match and final will be at Toyota Stadium Oct. 17.
This will be the fourth time the USA has hosted the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament. In October 2014, the USA hosted the tournament in Kansas City, Kansas, Bridgeview, Ill., Washington, D.C. and Chester, Pa. The Americans won the tournament, defeating Mexico 3-0 in the semifinal to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and then downed Costa Rica 6-0 in the championship game.
Caribbean and Central American qualifying updates
For the first round of the regional qualifying tournament, the Caribbean teams will be sorted into three groups of five teams and two groups of four. The participating teams are: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands.
The final round of Caribbean qualifying, featuring the first-round group winners, will be contested from July 21-29. The top three finishers of the final round will qualify to the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
In Central America, the qualifying tournament will be played in Nicaragua July 6-10 and will feature the hosts, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama. After round-robin play, the top two finishers will advance to the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.