Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CONCACAF Women's World Cup qualifying TV schedule

In its short history, PPL Park has hosted a number of high-profile soccer occasions. This coming October, the Philadelphia Union's home will get one of its biggest games yet.

CONCACAF Women's World Cup qualifying TV schedule

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(John Geliebter/USA Today Sports file photo)
(John Geliebter/USA Today Sports file photo)
Travel Deals

Updated with results of the group stage draw, and with the TV schedule.

In its short history, PPL Park has hosted a number of high-profile soccer occasions. In October, the Philadelphia Union's home will get one of its biggest games yet.

CONCACAF and the U.S. Soccer Federation officially announced Thursday afternoon that PPL Park will host the semifinals, final and third place game of the upcoming Women's World Cup qualifying tournament. Games will be played in Chester on Friday, October 24 and Sunday, October 26.

The two winners of the semifinals and the third place game get CONCACAF's automatic qualifying berths for next year's World Cup, which will take place in Canada. This means that the Philadelphia region will host the game that will likely seal the U.S.' World Cup berth.

Eight teams will participate in the qualifying tournament: the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique and Trinidad & Tobago.

The CONCACAF qualifying tournament will be played from October 15-26, with two groups of four teams each. Group stage games will be played as doubleheaders at three venues: Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.; Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.; and RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Tickets for the games at PPL Park are available online here, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, and in person at the PPL Park box office.

If you are interested in going to games at the other three venues, click here for games in Kansas City, here for games in Bridgeview and here for games in Washington.

Group Draw

Group A: A1. United States, A2. Trinidad & Tobago, A3. Guatemala, A4. Haiti
Group B: B1. Costa Rica, B2. Mexico, B3. Jamaica, B4. Martinique

Schedule

All times below are Eastern. Fox's coverage of U.S. games will include a half-hour pregame show from the network's Los Angeles studios

You'll recognize pretty much all of the talent from soccer coverage on Fox and other networks. In the studio, Rob Stone and Julie Stewart-Binks will alternate as hosts, and Mónica González, Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne, Eric Wynalda and Dr. Joe Machnik will rotate as analysts. Grant Wahl will work as a traveling reporter throughout the tournament.

For game coverage, Fox will have six play-by-play announcers and six color analysts. Jenny Taft will be the sideline reporter for U.S. games. Broadcast crews will be on site for all games involving the United States, and all four games at PPL Park.

Game-by-game assignments are listed below.

Wednesday, October 15 at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Group stage)

6:00 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Guatemala vs. Haiti (J.P. Dellacamera and Angela Hucles)
6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Studio show (Rob Stone, Heather Mitts and Eric Wynalda)
8:30 p.m., Fox Sports 2: United States vs. Trinidad & Tobago (John Strong, Cat Whitehill and Jenny Taft)

Thursday, October 16 at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Group stage)

6:00 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Jamaica vs. Martinique (Mark Followill and Kyndra de St. Aubin)
8:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Plus: Costa Rica vs. Mexico (Justin Kutcher and Danielle Slaton)

Friday, October 17 at Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill. (Group stage)

6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Haiti vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Jenn Hildreth and Kyndra de St. Aubin)
8:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1: Studio show (Rob Stone, Heather Mits, Leslie Osborne and Eric Wynalda)
9:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1: United States vs. Guatemala (J.P. Dellacamera, Cat Whitehill and Jenny Taft)

Saturday, October 18 at Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill. (Group stage)

4:00 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Costa Rica vs. Jamaica (Jenn Hildreth and Danielle Slaton)
6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Martinique vs. Mexico (Mark Rogondino and Cat Whitehill)

Monday, October 20 at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.  (Group stage)

5:00 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Mark Rogondino and Christine Latham)
7:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1: Studio show (Rob Stone, Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne and Eric Wynalda)
7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1: United States vs. Haiti (John Strong, Tony DiCicco and Jenny Taft)

Tuesday, October 21 at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. (Group stage)

5:00 p.m., Fox Sports 2: Martinique vs. Costa Rica (J.P. Dellacamera and Angela Hucles)
7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1: Mexico vs. Jamaica (Justin Kutcher and Cat Whitehill)

Friday, October 24 at PPL Park, Chester, Pa. (Semifinals)

4:30 p.m., Fox Sports 2: B1. Costa Rica. vs. A2. Trinidad & Tobago (Mark Rogondino and Tony DiCicco)
7:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1: Studio show (Julie Stewart-Binks, Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne and Eric Wynalda)
7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1: A1. United States vs. B2. Mexico (Justin Kutcher, Cat Whitehill and Jenny Taft)

Sunday, October 24 at PPL Park, Chester, Pa. (Championship round)

Fox Sports 1 will air a 60-minute studio show between games.

3:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1: A2. Trinidad & Tobago vs. B2. Mexico, Third place game (Jenn Hildredth, Cat Whitehill and Jenny Taft)
5:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1: Studio show (Rob Stone, Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne and Eric Wynalda)
6:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1: A1. United States vs. B1. Costa Rica, Championship Game (John Strong, Cat Whitehill and Jenny Taft)

In a quirk of life in CONCACAF, Martinique can't actually qualify for the World Cup even though it has a team in the tournament. It is officially a French territory, and is not recognized as its own entity by FIFA. But it participates in CONCACAF's Caribbean competitions to help make up the numbers.

Fox Sports has broadcast rights to the entire qualifying tournament as part of its wide-ranging deal with CONCACAF. Games will be televised on Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Soccer Plus, and will be streamed via Fox's free authenticated and paid subscription streaming services.

Fox also has rights to the 2015 Women's World Cup in the first year of its eight-year FIFA contract.

In addition to the three direct qualifiers, the fourth-place finisher will contest a two-leg playoff against the third-place team from South America. Host Canada gets an automatic bid. In all, CONCACAF could have as many as five nations in the tournament, which has been expanded from 16 to 24 berths for the first time.

That third-place playoff is worth nothing, and U.S. women's national team fans likely know why.

Four years ago, the Women's Gold Cup tournament served as the qualifying process. It took place in Mexico, and there were only two direct qualifying spots and a playoff berth up for grabs. The U.S. was stunned by the hosts in the semfinals, and so had to beat Costa Rica in the semfinals just to get a shot at the playoff. They did so by a 3-0 margin, then beat Italy 2-0 on aggregate (1-0 in each game) to book their passage to Germany.

This year's qualifying tournament was also originally set to be played in Mexico - Cancún and Playa del Carmen, specifically. In May, CONCACAF announced that the tournament would be moved because of venue issues. The Union started pushing right away to get games at PPL park, and they were rewarded with the biggest ones of all.

More coverage
 
Special section: Complete Women's World Cup coverage
 
More soccer coverage from The Goalkeeper
 
USA 2015 Women's World Cup Champs Gear & Collectibles
 
Women's World Cup TV schedule
 
2015 Philadelphia Union schedule
 
Major League Soccer national TV schedule
 
UEFA Champions League TV schedule
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