USMNT wins CONCACAF Nations League in illogical extra time affair

United States v Mexico: Championship - CONCACAF Nations League Finals
Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images
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The United States men’s national team just played perhaps its most insane match in an insane confederation, granting instant legend status on heroes familiar and not.

Ethan Horvath came off the bench in the 60th minute for injured started Zack Steffen and made a series of massive saves including an extra-time penalty stop on Andres Guardado after Christian Pulisic smashed an emphatic penalty home in a 3-2 extra-time defeat of Mexico that saw Gregg Berhalter’s Americans come back from two deficits.

[ MORE: Horvath reacts to iconic save | USMNT player ratings ]

There was a red card to Tata Martino, a should’ve-been red card to Hector Herrera, VAR giving the USMNT a penalty. VAR giving Mexico a penalty. Fights between players. A pause for the second-straight game after Mexican fans delivered a homophobic slur chant (during Pride Month). And then there was the physical violence, as USMNT teen Gio Reyna (who had a goal and an assist) suffered a head injury after a projectile was fired into the match-winning goal celebration.

All this fails to mention a calamitous first 60 seconds that saw the Yanks behind 1-0 on a series of errors that would be comical if they weren’t in a final against your No. 1 confederation target in the CONCACAF Nations League Final on Sunday.

Oh, the first CONCACAF Nations League Final, one staged a solid year after it was originally scheduled by CONCACAF because, you know, a world-punching pandemic.

The American mistakes were big. The good news is that the USMNT has some killer young attackers used to big games in big spots.

And the Yanks had a big swing in fortune when Hector Moreno’s snapped header for 2-0 was taken off the board after VAR review and Giovanni Reyna deposited a rebound off a corner kick to level the match at before the match was a half-hour old.

Reyna would then assist McKennie in a game that will never ever be forgotten.


Three Five things we learned from USMNT-Mexico

1. Berhalter’s big-time guys help him get to the break alive: Gregg Berhalter has done a lot of things right as USMNT boss, proving adept at recruiting dual nationals, assembling a good team vibe, and more often than not setting up a quality game plan with the top players from his call-ups (whether he’s calling up his top talents is a question for another day).

But note that “more often than not” because Sunday was a “not.” Berhalter put an inconsistent right back (DeAndre Yedlin) next to a 22-year-old with five caps (Mark McKenzie). He put old hat Tim Ream at left back. That idea can work when Ream either doesn’t have to deal with a speedy talent or if that speedy talent is green and able to be shut down by smarts.

So what happened? Yedlin and McKenzie basically wilted under pressure in the first minute, and Ream was exposed for pace a few times and Mexico delivered the best clear-cut chances of the first 45 minutes.

That’s when Pulisic, McKennie, and Reyna — a golden generation of attacking talent — got the Yanks back level on a corner kick. And when the Starting XI’s most baffling inclusion in Kellyn Acosta combined with Ream and McKenzie to let Diego Lainez rip Mexico back in front, it felt like Berhalter’s personnel choices had overrun a decent-enough plan (for different pieces).

So it was fitting that McKennie and Reyna delivered the second equalizer. And also that Berhalter delivered the goods with most of his substitutions… besides Reyna’s!

2. Mexico’s defending as suspect as their rivals (and about that ref…): Tata Martino is going to be scouring his player pool for something to fix a defensive unit that had no answer for the engine and athleticism of Weston McKennie and a few of his cohorts on the USMNT. And, perhaps, he should sign up the referee for his shocking decision not to give a second yellow card to Hector Herrera for a sliding tackle that would probably be illustrated in the referee manual as your prototypical yellow card. What would’ve happened if 97% of extra time was played 11v10 to the U.S.

3. Ethan Horvath makes his case as keeper, becomes a legend regardless: You want to talk about an emotional year or two? Ethan Horvath loses his starting job at Club Brugge because Simon Mignolet decides to move home to Belgium. Then he gets his big Champions League group stage start anyway and overcomes a truly unlucky own goal to star in a win over Zenit-Saint Petersburg. His status as second-choice plus Zack Steffen’s rise then places him from presumptive next USMNT No. 1 to not even a certainty to be called into camps. Next thing he knows he’s coming in for an injured Steffen in a huge game. And he was exceptional even before denied Guardado from the spot to preserve 3-2.

4. Berhalter has good plans but personnel blind spots: Gregg BerhaIter is really, truly good at figuring out the plan to beat an opponent, but he’s looking like a guy with HUGE blind spots when it comes to talent. And it’s not as simple as saying he has a blindspot for MLS in placing Kellyn Acosta over any number of midfielders or Mark McKenzie over El Tri public enemy Matt Miazga (or Tim Ream, who was at left back… or Walker Zimmerman, who last we checked was still very much alive in Nashville). That a very decent center back in Tim Ream started at left back over club and country teammate Antonee Robinson when Fulham coach Scott Parker did not consider that idea a single time over a Premier League season and actually only played Ream twice after January… Yeah. Forget lifting Giovanni Reyna for Sebastian Lletget (who, to be fair, had been very good in a U.S. shirt prior to the Honduras match).

The plan to win the match with immense attacking talent against shaky Mexican defending and trusting his center defensive mids and back four to handle its business was solid. And if he picks better fits for those last two gigs the Yanks might have been up 3-0 by halftime.

5. Christian Pulisic was already a USMNT. Now he’s a legend: He was marked out of the Honduras game by hard fouls and Mexico tried to do the same thing to the Chelsea star. But he still delivered a corner kick for USMNT goal No. 1. And he won the winning penalty before it was the winning penalty via his smashing upper-90 conversion. Pulisic metaphorically and physically silenced the pro-Mexico portion of the crowd and, well, that’s what we call iconic.

Man of the Match: Weston McKennie

Giovanni Reyna was marvelous, John Brooks the main reason Mexico didn’t have three at the break, and Ethan Horvath an especially wonderful surprise in an awkward spot. But McKennie is the spirit animal for what the American soccer fans want the men’s program to be and he was so much fun.


CONCACAF Nations League Final: USMNT-Mexico recap

The clock read 1:00 when the first goal went up on the score board, a nightmare start for Gregg Berhalter in his first final as USMNT coach.

Josh Sargent slipped. DeAndre Yedlin left his feet in a desperation move to snap the ball out of bounds in a 1v1 with Jesus Corona, but Tecatito kept his cool and eventually fired a rocket into the top of the goal after Mark McKenzie gave him the ball in the U.S. box.

Giving up a goal after a minute is never good, but it’s especially harmful when two of the players making mistakes were questionable starters in the first place.

Yedlin entered the game with 63 caps and plenty of big-game experience but had played nine minutes for the USMNT since Nov. 20, 2019.

And McKenzie was collecting his fifth cap and just his second coming outside of a friendly. None of that is his fault of course.

[ MORE: Nations League schedule, scores, stats ]

And Moreno then buried a header to make it 2-0 but thank Heaven for VAR — wasn’t expecting to say that — as the Mexican veteran was just offside in his bid to snap the set piece home.

It wasn’t long after that Reyna got on the board.

The 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund phenom and son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna kept his cool when Weston McKennie’s header of a Christian Pulisic corner kick smashed off the post, settling the ball and rolling it past Guillermo Ochoa, the hero of Mexico’s semifinal win.

The second half began with a lot better stuff from the United States and the first sub was Timothy Weah for an ineffective Sergino Dest.

The Yanks almost instantly claimed a lead through some really pretty football, though Weah didn’t have much to say about it, as Pulisic picked out a surging McKennie with a perfect pass that led to Sargent’s bid to solve Guillermo Ochoa stymied by the El Tri living legend.

But it was another goalkeeper in the headlines when Steffen pulled up while trying to release an outlet pass. The Manchester City man got treatment from the trainers but could not continue and Ethan Horvath would have to enter relatively cold.

Berhalter was soon under the spotlight, anxious to keep play going before colliding with Nestor Araujo outside his technical area — just outside. He was given a card reprieve by the referee.

Mexico went in front again in the 79th minute when Hirving “Chucky” Lozano spotted Diego Lainez and the youngster cut a shot through Ream, Acosta, and McKenzie, but McKennie was there to put Reyna’s pass home three minutes later.

But don’t worry, the drama wasn’t over and the next bit was vile, as Mexican fans’ chant of a homophobic slur saw a game suspended after 90 minutes for the second time in a week.

Tata Martino would soon see red after seeing red. The Mexico coach was given a red card for touching the referee during the actual video reviewing point of a VAR decision that became the U.S. game winner after Pulisic was pretty clearly fouled in the box.

The Chelsea star smashed his penalty into the camera in the upper 90 to defy an exceptional Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa, an El Tri legend and hero of the semifinal via a penalty save versus Costa Rica. As a shirtless Pulisic raised his finger to his lips in front of Mexican supporters, the crowd fired projectiles onto the field and one caught Reyna on the head, felling the teenager who required medical treatment.

Then VAR went against the U.S. when a cross was headed onto the arm of Acosta from about a yard at best. The stunning penalty award turned karmic went Horvath went right to deny Andres Guardado an equalizer and deliver the U.S. a win, one that allowed Pulisic to hoist his first USMNT trophy as captain and give Berhalter his first bit of silverware as national team boss.

When’s the next game? We’ll need some time to recover but also to get hyped for the Gold Cup and, hopefully, a final without homophobia, fan violence, and pitch invaders but with two massive border rivals.

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Brazil turns on samba style, dances into World Cup quarterfinals

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Five-time world champions Brazil turned in a five-star performance as they dismantled South Korea 4-1 in the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup on Monday.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY

Up next for Brazil is a quarterfinal clash with Croatia, who survived 120 minutes and penalty kicks to beat Japan earlier on Monday.

The goals came early, they came often, and they came in style.

Vinicius Junior opened the scoring in the 7th, with an exquisite, composed finish through a sea of bodies and Neymar, who returned from the ankle injury he suffered 11 days earlier, made it 2-0 from the penalty spot just six minutes later. That’s when the samba style came out, with the game effectively already in hand and 77 minutes of must-watch television entertainment left to deliver.

Richarlison, who already scored the probable goal of the tournament in Brazil’s opener, perhaps one-upped himself with a sensational piece of flair and skill (and a decent bit of passing from some equally brilliant teammates), making it 3-0 just before the half-hour mark and reminding the rest of the world that Brazil were pre-World Cup favorites for a reason.

Lucas Paqueta got goal no. 4 after another sensational, liquid counter-attack of yellow shirts washing forward in numbers. Vinicius lifted the final ball over a crowd and picked out the West Ham midfielder, who applied the perfect finish with the inside of his right foot.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Paik Seung-Ho scored a fantastic consolation goal with 15 minutes left in the second half, but that was the extent of South Korea’s joy, as they come up short of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since co-hosting the World Cup in 2002, when they went to the semifinals.

Brazil vs South Korea
Photo: FotMob.com

[ MORE: World Cup schedule | World Cup odds ]


How to watch Brazil vs South Korea live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Monday Dec. 5
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Well, first off: Neymar. One of Brazil’s all-time heroes is missing a World Cup from his resume and rightly or wrongly, that’s a marker as to whether the player will be considered one of the best Brazilians to ever do it. When healthy he’s among the five best attackers in the world. But how healthy is he? And how much can Richarlison, Vinicius Jr. and company take pressure off the oft-fouled Neymar?

South Korea will have hope that Heung-min Son’s slow tournament is on the upswing after the Tottenham star played well late in delivering the win over Portugal to seal a group stage place. Look out for 26-year-old Napoli center back Min-jae Kim, whose name is dancing through the Premier League transfer rumor mill with renewed vigor following strong performances in Qatar.


Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

South Korea quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 28
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Paulo Bento
Key players: Heung-min Son, Young-gwon Kim, In-beom Hwang, Woo-yeong Jeong

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Croatia eliminates Japan in 2022 World Cup’s first penalty shootout

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Croatia is through to the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup after defeating Japan in the tournament’s first penalty shootout (1-1 AET, 3-1 PKs) on Monday.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY

After reaching the knockout rounds just once in their first five World Cup cycles as a nation, Croatia is through to the quarterfinals for the second straight tournament. Japan, meanwhile, will look to 2026 to achieve their first-ever knockout-round victory.

Scoring chances were at a premium in the first half, as each side managed just three shots, but the quality of chances was very high, evidenced by the xG numbers (0.74 for Japan and 0.61 for Croatia, again, on just three shots each). All three of Japan’s shots came from within seven yards of goal, as did two of Croatia’s three.

The breakthrough came, as so many goals have done at this World Cup, in the final moments just before the end of the first half. Japan won a free kick down the right side and though Croatia defended the initial ball in well enough, they didn’t manage to clear it and it fell to Maeda seven yards out.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Perisic made it 1-1 with a sensational, long-ranger header in the 55th minute. Dejan Lovren played a dipping cross from deep and it found Perisic near the penalty spot, leaving the Tottenham utilityman with so much still to do. The ball bounced once, just in front of the goalkeeper, beating with him both power and precision to the bottom corner.

Dominik Livakovic began the penalty shootout with two straight saves, first denying Takumi Minamino, and then Kaoru Mitoma. 2-0 to Japan after two rounds. Marko Livaja put Croatia’s third attempt off the post, but Livakovic followed that up with save no. 3 against Maya Yoshida. Mario Pasalic converted to make it 3-1 to Croatia after four rounds.

Runners-up in 2018, Croatia into the round of 8 in 2022.

Japan vs Croatia
Photo: FotMob.com

[ MORE: World Cup schedule | World Cup odds ]

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How to watch Japan vs Croatia live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET – Monday, December 5
Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Japan’s comeback wins against Germany and Spain have been a joy to watch and anybody who watched them before this tournament will not be that surprised. Moriyasu has created a squad which has a total ‘team first’ mentality and so many players are stepping up to deliver in midfield and attack. From Maya Yoshida captaining the side and dominating at center back to Mitoma, Doan, Endo and Tanaka dazzling in midfield and attack whenever they feature, this is a joy to watch. The energy Japan plays with is dizzying and they will create plenty of chances against Croatia. The big question: can they be more clinical?

As for Croatia, the likes of Dejan Lovren, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic have been here before. They exude confidence and Josko Gvardiol is a fine young center back and the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic add extra class. This is a side which always seems to overdeliver and they will be thinking another deep run at the World Cup is on the cards. Surely they can’t get to the final again, right?


Japan quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 24
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 7
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Key players: Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ritsu Doan
At the 2022 World Cup – Won Group E with 6 points (+1 GD)

Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic
At the 2022 World Cup – Finished second in Group F with 5 points (+3 GD)


World Cup 2022 schedule – how to watch, last 16, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

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The World Cup 2022 schedule is locked in and this tournament in Qatar has been sensational as the knockout rounds will capture the imagination of the globe.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

Japan, Australia and Morocco made the last 16 with so many huge shocks during the tournament, while Germany, Denmark and Belgium all crashed out in the group stage.

From the USMNT and England getting out of their group to Lionel Messi dragging Argentina through and Mexico just missing out on getting out of the group stages and amid upsets galore, there are plenty of intriguing games in the latter stages.

[ MORE: World Cup rosters for all 32 teams ]

We now have the small matter of the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final to look forward to. Bring. It. On.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Below is the schedule in full, details on how to watch the games and everything else you need..

[ MORE: World Cup odds ]


World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Knockout round kick-off times: 10am, 2pm (both ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H | Full tables


Round of 16 schedule

Match 49 – Saturday, December 3: Netherlands 3-1 USA – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Match 50 – Saturday, December 3: Argentina 2-1 Australia – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

Match 52 – Sunday, December 4: France 3-1 Poland – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

Match 51 – Sunday, December 4: England 3-0 Senegal – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Match 53 – Monday, December 5: Japan 1-1 (AET, 1-3 PKs) – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Match 54 – Monday, December 5: Brazil 4-1 South Korea – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Match 55 – Tuesday, December 6: Morocco vs Spain (preview) – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 56 – Tuesday, December 6: Portugal vs Switzerland (preview) – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm


Quarterfinal schedule

Match 58 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 53 vs Winners Match 54 – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 57 – Friday, December 9: Netherlands vs Argentina – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Match 60 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 55 vs Winners Match 56 – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 59 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 51 vs France – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Semifinal schedule

Match 61 – Tuesday, December 13: Winners Match 57 vs Winners Match 58 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Match 62 – Wednesday, December 14: Winners Match 59 vs Winners Match 60 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Third-place play-off

Match 63 – Saturday, December 17: Losers Match 61 vs Losers Match 62 – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm


Final

Match 64 – Sunday, December 18: Winners Match 61 vs Winners Match 62 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am


Group stage results

Group A

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands  – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 5am
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 2-0 Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Ecuador 1-2 Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Group B

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-3 England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Iran 0-1 USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor

Group C

Recap/highlights: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Mexico 0-0 Poland – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Argentina 2-0 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Poland 0-2 Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Saudi Arabia 1-2 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail

Group D

Recap/highlights: France 4-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: France 2-1 Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 0-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 1-0 France –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Australia 1-0 Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Group E

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Spain 1-1 Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Japan 0-1 Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Japan 2-1 Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Costa Rica 2-4 Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Group F

Recap/highlights: Belgium 1-0 Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Morocco 0-0 Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 5am
Recap/highlights: Belgium 0-2 Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Croatia 4-1 Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Croatia 0-0 Belgium – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights Canada 1-2 Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor

Group G

Recap/highlights: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Brazil 1-0 Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Recap/highlights: Cameroon 3-3 Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Cameroon 1-0 Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Serbia 2-3 Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha

Group H

Recap/highlights: Portugal 3-2 Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Portugal 2-0 Uruguay – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-3 Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-1 Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Ghana 0-2 Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah


2026 World Cup venues selected: Which cities will host in USA, Canada, Mexico?

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On Thursday, nearly four years to the day after it was announced that the men’s FIFA World Cup would be returning to the United States and Mexico (and coming to Canada for the first time) in 2026, 16 host cities were announced as venues for the first-ever 48-team tournament.

[ MORE: Ranking which U.S. cities should host 2026 World Cup games ]

11 American venues were selected, with five located in the eastern third (despite FIFA’s interpretation of Atlanta), three in the central part of the country and three more out west. Two Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) will host World Cup games for the first time. A pair of Mexican cities (Mexico City and Guadalajara) are set to host the World Cup for the third time (1970 and 1986) while Monterrey was chosen for the second time.

[ MORE: 2022 World Cup schedule, how to watch, start time, dates ]

Below is the full list of cities selected as host venues for the 2026 World Cup in the Unites States, Canada and Mexico…


Which 16 venues were selected as host cities for the 2026 World Cup?

USA (11)

Atlanta – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Boston – Gillette Stadium
Dallas – AT&T Stadium
Houston – NRG Stadium
Kansas City – Arrowhead Stadium
Los Angeles – SoFi Stadium
Miami – Hard Rock Stadium
New York/New Jersey – MetLife Stadium
Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field
San Francisco – Levi’s Stadium
Seattle – Lumen Field

Canada (2)

Toronto – BMO Field
Vancouver – BC Place

Mexico (3)

Guadalajara – Estadio Akron
Mexico City – Estadio Azteca
Monterrey – Estadio BBVA

With 23 venues vying for 16 spots, a number of notable cities (and venues) were snubbed. Washington D.C., the nation’s capital (in a joint-bid with Baltimore, where games would have been played), was not chosen.

The Rose Bowl, where the 1994 World Cup final was played, was also not selected with Los Angeles presenting two stadiums as options; SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers, was selected. Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville and Orlando were the other American cities to miss out as 2026 World Cup venues, alongside Canada’s Edmonton.


2026 World Cup format and qualification

Now that we know the host cities, stadiums and venues for the 2026 World Cup, let’s talk about the tournament itself…

First and foremost, as host nations, it is believed (but not confirmed) that the USA, Canada and Mexico will all automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

[ MORE: World Cup 2022 odds: Favorites, underdogs, group stage winners ]

The 2026 World Cup will be the first tournament featuring 48 teams split in 16 groups of three. Each team will play two group stage games (down one from three), with the 1st- and 2nd-place finishers advancing to the round of 32. It will also be the first World Cup played across three different host nations.

The idea behind adding 16 teams is that one round of group stage games is eliminated and replaced by an additional round of win-or-go-home games in the knockout rounds.

Given that the final round of group games can carry very little, or even no, weight pending earlier results, the new format will guarantee that nearly every game at the 2026 World Cup is hugely consequential.

[ MORE: World Cup 2022 rankings: Who are the favorites? ]

Yes, FIFA will make a lot more money by changing the format, but fans will also be treated to a better quality product, from beginning to end, with even more global superstars from “lesser” national teams than ever before.

Follow @AndyEdMLS