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Chicago to Host Gold Cup Finals

By Todd McClamroch in News on Nov 30, 2006 8:46PM

11_30_06_goldcup.jpgThe Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced this afternoon that the 2007 Gold Cup Semi-Finals and Finals will be played at Soldier Field here in Chicago.

The Gold Cup is a tournament of national soccer teams within the North American, Central American, and Caribbean regions. There will be twelve teams competing in the tournament. Three are automatic bids that go to former winners: Canada (2000), Mexico (1993, 1996, 1998 & 2003) and United States (1991, 2002 & 2005). Four teams will earn a birth through the qualifying in the Caribbean and five teams will earn bids through the Central American Qualifications.
The tournament begins on June 6 and will be played in cities across the United States including: Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Chicago.

The Semi-Finals come to Chicago on Wednesday, June 20. The winners of the semi-final match will meet at Soldier Field to determine the champion on Sunday, June 24. Chuck Blazer of CONCACAF commented on the decision to use Soldier Field instead of the new soccer-specific Toyota Park. Blazer stated that although Toyota Park is an excellent facility, they needed a larger stadium since the Gold Cup Finals have averaged over 60,000 fans over its history.

The winner of the 2007 Gold Cup earns a berth to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa which is a tournament between the Champions of each of the six FIFA confederation championships: Asia (Asian Cup), Africa (African Cup of Nations), North America (Gold Cup), South America (Copa America), Oceania (Nations Cup) and Europe (European Championship).