The 2026 World Cup, the first ever to be co-hosted by three countries, will have its final match at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, FIFA announced on Sunday. The stadium, which is home to the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets, will witness the crowning of the world champion on July 19, 2026.
A historic tournament with 48 teams and 104 games
The 2026 World Cup will be a historic event, as it will feature 48 teams for the first time, up from the current 32. The tournament will also have 104 games, 60 of which will be played in the United States, 10 in Canada, and 10 in Mexico. The three host nations will automatically qualify for the tournament, while the remaining 45 spots will be decided by regional qualifiers.
The tournament will kick off on June 11, 2026, with the opening match at the iconic Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which hosted the finals of the 1970 and 1986 World Cups. The group stage will have 12 groups of four teams each, with the top two teams and the eight best third-placed teams advancing to the round of 32. All the knockout games from the quarterfinals onwards will be played in the United States.
The US team to play in Los Angeles and Seattle
The US men’s national team, which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, will hope to make a strong impression on home soil in 2026. The US team will play its first and third group games at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, the new home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers. The second group game will be at Lumen Field in Seattle, the home of the NFL’s Seahawks and MLS’s Sounders.
The US team will face tough competition from the likes of Argentina, the defending champion, France, the 2018 winner, and other powerhouses such as Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Italy. The US team’s best performance at the World Cup was reaching the semifinals in 1930, and the quarterfinals in 2002.
Canada and Mexico to host group games and one round of 16 match each
Canada and Mexico, the co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup, will also have their share of the action. Canada will host 10 group games and one round of 16 match, while Mexico will host 10 group games and one round of 16 match. Canada’s first World Cup game on home soil will be at BMO Field in Toronto, the home of MLS’s Toronto FC, on June 12, 2026. Canada will then play two more group games at BC Place in Vancouver, the home of MLS’s Whitecaps.
Mexico, the most successful team in CONCACAF, will play two of its group games at Estadio Azteca, and one at Estadio Akron in Zapopan, the home of Liga MX’s Chivas. Mexico will aim to improve on its record of reaching the quarterfinals twice, in 1970 and 1986, both times as the host nation.
MetLife Stadium to host the ultimate showdown
The 2026 World Cup final will be the biggest sporting event ever held at MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010 and has a capacity of 82,500. The stadium has hosted several major events, such as the Super Bowl in 2014, the Copa America Centenario in 2016, and the WrestleMania in 2019. The stadium is also a regular venue for international soccer matches, such as the International Champions Cup and the Gold Cup.
The final will be played on July 19, 2026, a Sunday, and will be broadcasted to millions of viewers around the world. The final will also be the culmination of a month-long celebration of soccer, culture, and diversity in North America. The final will be preceded by the third-place game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on July 18, and the semifinals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on July 14 and 15, respectively.
The 2026 World Cup final will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for soccer fans in the region to witness the best of the beautiful game. It will also be a chance for the host nations to showcase their passion, hospitality, and unity to the world.