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Houston to host CONCACAF Gold Cup group B matches

13 March 1:35 pm

Houston to host CONCACAF Gold Cup group B matches

By Eduardo Venegas

The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup groups and schedule were announced on Wednesday, with Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium set to host Group B matches. This will be the fifth consecutive Gold Cup with matches being played in Houston.

Group B consists of Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti. Honduras is currently in the final round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

"Houston has become a top soccer city over the years, and BBVA Compass Stadium has emerged as an elite facility," said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. "Hosting a marquee event like Gold Cup is exciting and indicative of the respect organizers have for our city, stadium and organization."

Both Honduras and El Salvador participated in the 2011 tournament. El Salvador lost in the quarterfinals to Panama on penalty kicks (5-3), while Honduras lost to Mexico 2-0 in the semifinals, a game that was played at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Haiti’s last CONCACAF Gold Cup appearance was in 2009 when it lost 4-0 to Mexico in the quarterfinals, whereas Trinidad & Tobago’s last appearance was in 2007, when it failed to advance out of the group stage.

The Honduran national team could have some familiar faces from Major League Soccer in their squad. Houston’s Boniek García, Víctor Bernárdez and Marvin Chávez (San Jose), Mario Martínez (Seattle), Jerry Bengtson (New England), Hendry Thomas (Colorado), and Johnny Leverón (Montreal) all feature regularly for Los Catrachos.

The Honduran and Salvadoran national teams are no strangers to playing in Houston and both have proven to have strong support from the local community.

Honduras played Peru to a scoreless draw on Nov. 12, 2012 at BBVA Compass Stadium, while El Salvador played New Zealand to a 2-2 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on May 23, 2012. In addition, more than 27,000 fans packed Robertson Stadium in May 2011 to see a friendly between Honduras and El Salvador.

Tickets to all Gold Cup matches will be available to the general public starting on Thursday, March 21 at 10 a.m. by visiting www.GoldCup.org.

Group B schedule (time listed in CT):

Monday, July 8 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
El Salvador vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m. 
Haiti vs. Honduras, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 12 – Sun Life Stadium (Miami, FL)
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Haiti, 6 p.m.
Honduras vs. El Salvador, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, July 15 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, TX)
El Salvador vs. Haiti, 6 p.m. 
Honduras vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8:30 p.m.