U.S. team will open Cup bid in Silverdome and Rose Bowl

October 15, 1992|By Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- The U.S. soccer team will play its three first-round games of the 1994 World Cup in Pontiac, Mich., and Pasadena, Calif.

The Chicago Tribune has learned Team USA will open June 18, 1994, at the Pontiac Silverdome and then play June 22 and June 26 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Opponents for those games will not be determined until December 1993, when the draw for the 24-team tournament is held.

Only two teams are automatic qualifiers -- the host and the defending champion, Germany, both of which are among the six seeded teams. The other 22 teams (and the other four seeds) will come from worldwide qualifying tournaments currently under way.

Germany will play the World Cup official opening game June 17 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Its next two first-round games will be June 21 in Chicago and June 27 in Dallas.

The tournament is divided into six groups of four teams each for the first round of single round-robin play. The top two teams in each group and the two third-place teams with the best records advance to the round of 16.

From the round of 16, the tournament becomes single elimination until the July 17 final in the Rose Bowl.

If the United States wins its first-round group -- and keeps winning -- it would play the round of 16 in Los Angeles, quarterfinals in San Francisco and semifinals in Los Angeles.

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