San Diego to host Gold Cup soccer at Qualcomm Stadium

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Moises Muoz #1 of Mexico kisses the trophy after defeating Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final at Lincoln Financial Field on July 26, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mexico won, 3-1.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego will be one of 14 host cities next year for a major soccer tournament featuring national teams from North and Central American and the Caribbean region, organizers announced Monday.

Two first-round matches of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football Gold Cup will be played July 9 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mexico will be one of the four teams in San Diego.

“Hosting the Gold Cup next July gives us a prime opportunity to show how our youth and adult soccer communities come together and go above and beyond in supporting professional soccer on an international stage,” said Mike McDowell, executive director of the San Diego Sports Alliance.

“San Diego is known to provide a premium fan experience and I think those who make the trip to San Diego for Gold Cup are in for a treat given our thriving culinary and craft beer scene, our beaches, bays, along with world class hotels and attractions,” McDowell said. “We hope everyone who makes it out to San Diego for the opening round of Gold Cup will not only enjoy world class soccer, but a world class vacation, as well.”

San Diego previously hosted the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1996 and 2000.

Other nearby host cities for the 12-team tournament, to be played July 7- 26, include Pasadena, Santa Clara and Phoenix. Canada, Curacao, French Guiana, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico and the U.S. are the countries that have qualified for the tournament so far.