Houston and Dallas to host CONCACAF Nations League semis, final - sources

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 07: United States midfielder Christian Pulisic (10) dribbles the ball during the CONCACAF Gold Cup final match between the United States and Mexico on July 07, 2019, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The next meeting between the United States' and Mexico's men's national teams could come in Dallas in the CONCACAF Nations League final. (Robin Alam/Getty)

The CONCACAF Nations League’s final four is headed to Texas, with Houston to host both semifinals and Dallas the site of the championship match, multiple sources with knowledge of the plans told Yahoo Sports.

The United States men’s national team will take on Honduras June 3 at the Houston Dynamo’ BBVA Stadium. Later that evening, Mexico will meet Costa Rica in the other semifinal, which will be played at NRG Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. The finale of the new regional competition will be held on June 7 at another NFL venue, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, which is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.

CONCACAF, international soccer’s governing body in North and Central America and the Caribbean, is expected to announce the schedule in the coming days.

The U.S. advanced to the knockout stage of the Nations League November after winning a group that also included Canada and Cuba. Mexico finished above Bermuda and Panama in its trio, while Honduras beat out Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica topped Curacao and Haiti.

While CONCACAF’s decision to stage the U.S. men at the Dynamo’s intimate, 22,000-seat MLS venue is sure to raise eyebrows, it also reflects the program’s current reality. The USMNT is still trying to win back supporters following its stunning failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, breaking a string of seven consecutive tournament appearances that dated to 1990.

The Americans drew just 13,000 fans for November’s must-win Nations League match against Canada in Orlando, Florida—about half the capacity of Orlando City’s 25,000-seat Exploria Stadium. Meantime, the Mexican team routinely packs NFL venues regardless of the opponent, even for friendlies. NRG Stadium seats 72,000. AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, can accommodate up to 80,000 for soccer matches.

Last June, 70,778 watched El Tri beat the Ticos at NRG Stadium in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals. Mexico averaged close to 60,000 fans for the 12 matches it played in the United States in 2019. The U.S. averaged just over 23,000, with its best-attended contest of the year its July loss to El Tri in the Gold Cup final in Chicago.