The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ schedule was released on Tuesday, revealing the groups and pairings for this summer’s regional championship. Kansas City will host a first round Group C doubleheader on June 14th at state-of-the-art Sporting Park, featuring the United States Men’s National Team against Guadeloupe at 8:00 p.m. CT, following Panama versus Canada at 6:00 p.m. CT.
“I think it first proves that with the advent of our new stadium, what kind of competition it will bring to Kansas City,” Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. “I think it's a proven fact now that having one of the best soccer stadiums in North America, we'll be getting more and more competitions like this, so I think it's not only exciting for this time period, but for the future as well.”
An initial allotment of single-game tickets to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ will go on sale to the public on March 16th at 10:00 a.m. CT.
CLICK HERE for the 2011 Gold Cup Seating and Pricing Chart at Sporting Park.
Tickets to the CONCACAF Gold Cup™ doubleheader in Kansas City will be included as part of 2011 Sporting Kansas City season ticket packages, which can be purchased at www.SportingKC.com/VirtualVenue or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. There will also be an exclusive pre-sale for current Sporting Kansas City season ticket members to purchase additional tickets to the Gold Cup doubleheader, beginning at 10:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday, March 9th on SportingKC.com through the account manager or by calling their Client Services representative.
CLICK HERE to chat with a Sporting Kansas City Client Services representative.
The United States Men’s National Team, No. 18 in the latest FIFA rankings, will play in Kansas City for the first time in over 10 years and only the third time in the history of the federation. The U.S. twice held FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Kansas City, dating back to their first appearance in the city in 1968 as hosts to Bermuda and most recently in a 2001 qualifier against Costa Rica at Arrowhead Stadium in front of a then-record 37,319 fans.
“It’s exciting. It’s been a long time coming so it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Sporting Kansas City captain Davy Arnaud, who played for the United States in the 2009 Gold Cup. “I know the fans and players are looking forward to it, and it’s something we should be proud of.”
The United States opponent, Guadeloupe, is captained by Sporting Kansas City midfielder Stephane Auvray, who led his country to the 2010 Carribean Championship final against club teammate Shavar Thomas and Jamaica.
“It’s good for the fans in Kansas City, who are really interested in soccer,” Auvray said. “It’s great for them to see the game at the international level. With the new stadium, I’m really happy for Kansas City. The fans deserve to watch these games. I hope they’ll have fun and see two good games.”
Panama, ranked No. 60 in the world, will be appearing in their fourth consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup™. After reaching the final and finishing runners-up in a penalty shootout in the 2005 edition, the Central American country made it to the quarterfinals in both 2007 and 2009.
Canada also brings a wealth of Gold Cup experience, having won the tournament twice and qualified for each of the last seven editions. The Canadian National Team features several players from Major League Soccer, including two-time MLS Cup MVP Dwayne De Rosario and Toronto FC Designated Player Julian de Guzman.
Sporting Kansas City striker Teal Bunbury once represented Canada at the youth national team levels, before making his debut for the United States last year and scoring his first senior international team goal in January.
“Hosting the Gold Cup is huge. With all the anticipation of the new stadium, everyone’s really excited and ready to show their passion for the game,” Bunbury said. “I think it’s great for Kansas City as a community to host a big event like the Gold Cup.”
Kansas City was one of 11 U.S. cities chosen to host games during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ and Sporting Park is one of four Major League Soccer stadiums selected for games during the region’s highest level of competition. The tournament brings 12 of the top National Teams in the region to compete for the continental crown and the right to be the region’s representative in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
The 2011 Gold Cup will mark the 20th anniversary of the tournament and is scheduled to take place across the United States beginning with the tournament opener on June 5th and concluding with the championship match on June 25th.
CONCACAF “The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football” is one of six continental confederations of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and serves as the governing body of football in this part of the world. It is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.
2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Sporting Park:
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 – Group C
Canada vs. Panama, 6 p.m. CT
Guadeloupe vs. USA, 8 p.m. CT