Summer is just around the corner! Coming with that are four soccer tournaments to watch! The Concacaf Nations League, Concacaf Gold Cup, the Women’s World Cup, and the first-ever Leagues Cup make up 2023’s summer of soccer!
Summer of Soccer
Summer is often dominated by international soccer along with MLS. This summer, there are four competitions! Two showcase the USMNT. The USWNT looks to win their third World Cup in a row. The Philadelphia Union plays in the inaugural Leagues Cup where MLS and Liga Mx teams pause their season for tournament play. Here’s a look at the competitions and their dates.
- Concacaf Nations League: Semifinals – June 15. Final – June 18.
- Concacaf Gold Cup: June 24 – July 16.
- Women’s World Cup: July 20 – August 20.
- Leagues Cup: July 21 – August 19.
Each tournament presents a team to follow. Can the USMNT win the second straight Nations League and Gold Cup? Will the USWNT continue its world dominance? How will the Union fare with this new midseason tournament format? This summer will have a lot of soccer, let’s break down each competition!
Nations League (June 15 & 18)
The Concacaf Nations League is still a newer competition that has been spread out over multiple years. The first iteration of this tournament saw the USMNT take on and beat Mexico thanks to some extra-time heroics. This time around the USMNT is looking to play in their first knockout round match since last December’s World Cup.
Once again it’s USA vs Mexico in the Nations League, this time in the semifinal round. The US has done very well against Mexico in recent history; however, they’ll need to play good soccer in order to make it to their second straight Nations League Final.
On the other side of the bracket are Panama and Canada. Panama missed out on the World Cup playoff by a few points, can they redeem themselves in this competition? Canada was the top team in Concacaf heading to the World Cup, then was the second-worst team behind host Qatar on the Worlds Stage.
Who will be able to play good soccer and get two wins to take home the Nations League trophy? We’ll find out this week!
Gold Cup (June 24 – July 16)
The Concacaf Gold Cup comes back around at the end of the month. The USMNT has won two of the last three Gold Cups and is looking to add another title this time around. As was the case in the last tournament, there will be 16 nations fighting for the Gold Cup, 15 Concacaf Nations, and Qatar who have been invited to compete.
After three group stage games the top two teams from the four groups will go on to the Quarterfinals of the tournament. In this interaction of the Gold Cup, The USA and Mexico are the frontrunners, but nations like Canada and Costa Rica will be looking to make a statement as well. You can also never count out Honduras, Panama, or El Salvador to play good soccer while making a run to the Quarters.
So will we see yet another USA vs Mexico final at this Gold Cup? The Groups seem to be laid out this way, but one of those nations will likely have a very difficult match against Canada in the semis should the top three of Concacaf make it there.
Don’t miss these three weeks of action starting next weekend!
Women’s World Cup (July 20 – August 20)
In what will be the most highly competitive tournament of the summer, the Women’s World Cup kicks off down under in July. The competition co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand will showcase 32 nations battling for the right to be called World Champions. The main headline going into this World Cup is if the USWNT will be able to win their third straight title.
The USA has been dominant in the Women’s World Cup since its inception winning four of the eight previous titles. Now they look to make even more history by playing great soccer leading to a three-peating. Both the USA and Germany have won back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles, but no nation has done it three times in a row. The stacked USWNT side will look to be the ones to do it.
Other nations in the tournament have the talent to knock the USA out if they are better on the day. Nations like Germany, Sweden, England, and France are clawing at the chance to beat the best. Can they do it, will there be a nation outside the top five that shocks the world, or will the USWNT make history and assert its dominance yet again?
This month-long action-packed tournament gets started in late July!
Leagues Cup (July 21 – August 19)
For the first time ever, MLS is pausing its regular season play for a tournament that all of its teams will compete in. All 47 teams will play in this newly formatted tournament that has a lot on the line. Three spots in the newly named Concacaf Champions Cup (formerly Concacaf Champions League) are at stake. The winner, runner-up, and third-place finisher will qualify for the Concacaf Champions Cup!
There are four regions in this tournament and groups of three teams in the group stage. The top two teams from each group will make the knockout round. Another fun change is there will be no ties in the group stage, if the game ends in a draw both teams will get one point and the winner of a penalty shootout will get an additional point.
The tournament then becomes very familiar in the knockout rounds with single elimination rounds from the round of 32 all the way to the final. There will also be a third-place game in the tournament as the winner of that match qualifies for the Concacaf Champions Cup.
The Union is the second-best-rated MLS team in the tournament and will play Liga MX sides Tiajuana and Queretaro at home at Subaru Park. Can Philly play good soccer and make a run in Leagues Cup? It could be yet another chance to win a trophy that has eluded them over the last few seasons.
This action will run almost simultaneously with the Women’s World Cup starting in late July!
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Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire, Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire, and Philadelphia Union.