Sounders fans turn out strong for club matches, will they for a national team? - Chris Coulter - SoundersPhotos.com
While it is not a World Cup qualifier, it is the regional championship. Dates and participants are not yet announced, but at this time both Seattle and Portland are hosting the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Today CONCACAF announced the host cities for the 2013 Gold Cup. Seattle and CenturyLink Field will host for the third time in the last nine years. Our southern neighbors in Portland will host for the first time. CONCACAF follows the FIFA rules and allows artificial surfaces to host matches as long as they meet certain standards. Both Jeld-Wen and the CLink meet those rating standards.
The top 12 nations in the region will participate in the tournament spread across the 13 venues announced. The tournament begins July 7th and ends the 28th. Seattle Sounders FC's only home games during that stretch are July 20th and 28th.
It was not stated at this time which venues host the Group or Knockout matches. The last two times the Gold Cup was in Seattle it hosted the United States against Cuba and Grenada, respectively. Neither match was a large draw. Canada was part of the 2005 double-header.
While the CONCACAF and US World Cup Qualifying selections are not directly connected, the USSF is the host of the Gold Cup and there is a possibility that they exerted some influence to get non-qualifying hosts a major match.