World Cup 2026: What matches are coming to Houston?

Houston will host seven matches in the 2026 World Cup.

In the expanded 48-team tournament, NRG Stadium will host a Round of 32 match on June 29 and a Round of 16 match on July 4. Five group stage matches will be on June 14, 17, 20, 23 and 26.

“We had been expecting between five and eight, so seven is a good number,” said Chris Canetti, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority Executive and President of the Houston 2026 World Cup Host Committee. “There was no bad outcome. Whatever number we heard was going to be good for Houston.

“It’s a nice mix with five group games and then two knockout games when the level of intensity goes up.”

The final will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on July 19.

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FIFA expanded the field from 32 to 48 nations and increased matches from 64 to 104. The 2026 tournament will be co-hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada, with all games from the quarterfinals on being played in the U.S. FIFA announced the 16 sites in 2022.

As hosts, the U.S., Canada and Mexico are guaranteed spots in the tournament. The other 45 teams will be determined through qualifying via the soccer federations in Europe (16 spots), Africa (nine), Asia (eight), South America (six), North and Central America (three) and Oceania (one). Two additional countries will make the field as well.

The next big date for Houston will come in December 2025 when game assignments will be made. The field will be divided into 12 groups of four teams. The five games in group play at NRG are likely to come from more than one group, Canetti said.

After the 2026 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, work will begin at NRG to convert the playing surface to grass.

Instead of a temporary process that was used when the Texans played on grass, the plan is to build and install the surface as if it were going to be permanent.

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“We’ve been planning since 2022, but it’s helpful to have the schedule and dates,” said Canetti, who emphasized 2024 will be a critical year for fund-raising, identifying training sites for teams, and upgrades to those facilities and NRG.

The tournament will open June 11 in Mexico City at Estadio Azteca.

Los Angeles will host the first match in the U.S. on June 12 at SoFi Stadium with the U.S. national team. The U.S. team will then travel to Seattle’s Lumen Field on June 19 and finish the group stage at SoFi on June 25.

Toronto will host the first match in Canada on June 12 at BMO Field.

Dallas, which many had speculated would get the title game, will have nine matches at AT&T Stadium including one semifinal on July 14. Atlanta will host the other semifinal on July 15.

For the quarterfinals, Boston, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Miami are the hosts for games on July 9-11. Miami will also host the third-place game on July 18.

Only Dallas, New York-New Jersey (eight) and Los Angeles (eight) will have more matches than Houston.

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