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U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM TO PLAY 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP GROUP STAGE MATCHES IN LOS ANGELES AND SEATTLE

February 4, 2024, | Courtesy of www.ussoccer.com



CHICAGO (Feb. 4, 2024) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will play group stages matches in Los Angeles, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as announced by FIFA on Sunday afternoon. During a nationally televised broadcast on FOX and Telemundo which included an appearance by USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter, the sport’s governing body revealed the tournament’s full schedule, which will culminate with the final to be played in New York/New Jersey at MetLife Stadium. The quadrennial tournament is set to take place across the United States, Canada, and Mexico from June 11-July 19, 2026.


The USMNT will begin its journey through the tournament’s group stage at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium on June 12, before heading up the west coast for their second match at Lumen Field in Seattle on June 25, and will conclude group play with a return to SoFi Stadium for a match on June 26.


“It’s great to finally learn where we will be for the group stage. It really starts to bring things to life,” Berhalter said. “We would have been happy with any of the venues because we know the home support is going to be incredible. When you think about Los Angeles, it’s an iconic soccer city which has already hosted three World Cup Finals. It’s going to be an amazing venue for us. With Seattle you have a rich fan culture and an incredible atmosphere in the stadium. I get goosebumps thinking about it already. It's not only about the cities hosting the World Cup, it's about all the communities across America really getting behind us and creating this wave of support that really pushes the team to try to go and reach new heights.”


The tournament begins on June 11, 2026, when co-hosts Mexico will host the opening match at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. Beyond the group stage, Round of 32 matches will be played from June 28 to July 3, followed by the Round of 16 from July 4 to July7. The tournament’s quarterfinals will take place from July 9-11, preceding the semifinals on July 14 and 15. The third-place match will then take place at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on July 18 ahead of the final the next day.


The full group stage schedules for co-hosts Canada and Mexico were also revealed on Sunday. Canada will play at Toronto’s BMO Field on June 12, then at Vancouver’s BC Place on June 18 and June 24. Mexico will in turn play in Estadio Azteca on June 11, at Guadalajara’s Estadio Akron on June 18, and once again at Estadio Azteca on June 24.


The 2026 edition marks the first time the FIFA World Cup has been hosted across three nations and just the second occasion that countries have co-hosted the competition, following Korea Republic and Japan in 2002.


Overall, 16 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico will host a total of 48 teams and 80 matches under the newly expanded format, making it the largest FIFA World Cup in history. The tournament previously featured 32 teams that competed in the last seven iterations dating back to 1998 when the number of participants was increased from 24.


The full list of cities selected to host matches in 2026 in alphabetical order are:

UNITED STATES: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle

MEXICO: Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey

CANADA: Toronto, Vancouver


USA HISTORY IN THE WORLD CUP

The U.S. Men’s National Team qualified for seven straight FIFA World Cups between 1990 and 2014, and 11 overall since the tournament’s inception in 1930.


Most recently, a young USMNT squad reached the knockout stage for the fourth time in its last five World Cup appearances at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Group B clashes with Wales and England resulted in a pair of draws (1-1 and 0-0, respectively), before U.S. forward Christian Pulisic’s 38th minute goal against IR Iran provided the difference in a 1-0 win that secured advancement out of the group. The USA fielded four of the five youngest line-ups in the tournament, before ultimately bowing out to a then-No.8-ranked Netherlands side by a score of 3-1 in the Round of 16.


As 2026 marks the second time the World Cup will be co-hosted in multiple countries, the USMNT’s most successful World Cup experience came the first time the tournament was shared across nations in 2002 when it was played in Korea and Japan. There, the team reached the quarterfinals for the first time in 72 years before losing to eventual runners-up Germany.


After opening group play with a stunning 3-2 victory against Portugal, the USA earned a 1-1 draw against the host Korea Republic, before closing out the first round with a 3-1 defeat to Poland. The second-place group finish was enough to place the team in the Round of 16, where they squared off against arch-rival Mexico. The Americans famously blanked Mexico 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals, but their run ended with a hard-fought defeat at the hands of Germany, 1-0.


HOSTING FOR A SECOND TIME


The 2026 edition will mark the second occasion that the FIFA World Cup will be held in the United States, after the country previously hosted the tournament for the first time in 1994.

At that tournament, the USMNT also played a pair of group stage matches in the greater Los Angeles area, much like they will do in 2026. The team opened the 1994 tournament at the Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Detroit, where Eric Wynalda’s 45th minute free kick negated an earlier Switzerland goal and help the USMNT to a 1-1 draw in the first-ever World Cup match to be played indoors. Afterward, the U.S. headed to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl for the remaining two games of the group stage – a famous 2-1 win over tournament favorites Colombia and a 1-0 defeat to Romania, both played in front of 94,000 people.


The U.S. advanced to the Round of 16 as one of the top-ranked third place finishers in group play, where they met Brazil at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif. More than 84,000 fans were in attendance as the U.S. ultimately fell 1-0 to Brazil. Brazil would go on to eventually win the tournament in a penalty kick shootout over Italy at the once-again sold-out Rose Bowl in Pasadena.


Los Angeles would go on to become the only city to host three World Cup finals, as the U.S. Women’s National Team’s famous 1999 World Cup victory was also played at the Rose Bowl, followed four years later by the 2003 Women’s World Cup Final taking place at what is now Dignity Health Sports Park.


THE LEGACY OF 1994


World Cup USA 1994 was the most successful event in FIFA history, and a transformative moment for soccer in the United States.


The cumulative attendance of 3,587,538 broke the previous record by more than 1 million, and the average attendance for the 52-game tournament of 68,991 also established a new mark. U.S. stadia were filled to approximately 96 percent capacity during the tournament.

The success of the U.S. team, which advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 1930, helped boost already high U.S. television ratings. Approximately 11 million Americans were tuned in to the USA vs. Brazil Round of 16 match, an all-time high for soccer in the United States.


The tournament created a surplus of approximately $50 million — more than double original projections — that was contributed to the U.S. Soccer Foundation to continue to advance the development of the sport in the country.


The 1994 World Cup also sparked the founding of Major League Soccer, which began play in 1996 with 10 teams and will hit 30 teams when San Diego FC joins the league in 2025.


USMNT IN LOS ANGELES


  • All-time, the USMNT is 37-19-21 in matches played in the greater Los Angeles area, with its most recent visit resulting in a 0-0 friendly draw against Colombia on Jan. 28, 2023 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

  • To-date, the USMNT has yet to play a match at SoFi Stadium, which will host two of its group stage matches in the 2026 World Cup.

  • The Los Angeles area was a critical location during the 1994 World Cup played in the United States, as the famous Rose Bowl in Pasadena hosted eight matches throughout the tournament. Those matches included a pair of U.S. group stage games – one of which was the team’s renowned 2-1 win over favorites Colombia – and also included the tournament final, a Brazil victory in penalty kicks over Italy in front of more than 94,000 people.

  • Los Angeles has previously hosted matches in major international men’s soccer tournaments at the 1984 Men’s Olympic Soccer Tournament, the 2016 Copa America Centenario, and the Concacaf Gold Cup on 13 occasions, (1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019).

  • Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium will be a host during the group stage of the 2024 Copa America tournament this summer.

USMNT IN SEATTLE

  • The U.S. Men have played 10 matches in Seattle to-date, compiling a record of 8-1-1 dating back to 1976.

  • The team’s most recent visit to Seattle came during the Copa America Centenario tournament, when Lumen Field hosted a quarterfinal matchup against Ecuador on June 16, 2016. The USMNT advanced to the tournament’s semifinals via a 2-1 win, with goals from Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes.

  • Seattle has previously played host to a pair of U.S. World Cup Qualifying matches – a 2-0 win against Canada on Oct. 20, 1976, and a 2-0 win over Panama on June 11, 2013.

  • The U.S. has also visited Seattle twice during Concacaf Gold Cup play, first playing a pair of group stage matches in the 2005 tournament that they eventually won. Those came against Cuba in a 4-1 win on July 7, 2005 and a 2-0 win over Canada on July 9, 2005. They returned in 2009 for a group stage match against Grenada on July 4, where they came away 4-0 victors.


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