New York: Canada, Mexico and host United States learned first-round groupings Thursday for July`s Gold Cup football tournament, with the North American championship`s title match set for Philadelphia on July 26.
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced final details for the biennial continental showdown, which opens July 7 and concludes at the home stadium of Major League Soccer`s Philadelphia Union.
Defending champion United States, which blanked Panama 1-0 in the 2013 final for its fifth Gold Cup crown, is joined in Group A by Haiti and Panama as well as the winner of a playoff between French Guyana and Honduras. Group matches, contested in double-headers, will be staged July 7 at Dallas, July 10 at Boston and July 13 at Kansas City.
Canada, whose 2000 title is the only crown not taken by Mexico or the US squad, is in Group B with Jamaica, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Matches will be July 8 at Los Angeles, July 11 at Houston and July 14 at Toronto, the first Gold cup matches ever staged outside US or Mexican venues.
Six-time Gold Cup champion Mexico tops Group C, which also includes Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Guatemala and features matches July 9 at Chicago, July 12 at Phoenix and July 15 at Charlotte.
Quarter-final double-headers will be contested July 18 at Baltimore and July 19 at New York while the semi-finals will be in Atlanta on July 22.