The 2026 World Cup schedule has been unveiled by FIFA, bringing excitement and anticipation for soccer fans worldwide. The schedule outlines key details, locations, and dates for the tournament, set to take place from June 11 to July 19, 2026.
What We Know:
The tournament kicks off at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca and concludes with the final at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Major locations for various stages include Atlanta, Arlington, Miami, Kansas City, and Inglewood, among others. The total of 104 games will be distributed with 78 in the U.S., 13 in Canada, and 13 in Mexico.
What’s Still Unknown:
The specific team-city assignments will be determined post the World Cup draw scheduled for December 2025. Additionally, kickoff times for matches are yet to be finalized.
The U.S. men’s national team (USMNT) will make its debut at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, followed by matches in Seattle and another at SoFi Stadium. The tournament’s format involves 48 teams drawn into 12 groups, advancing top two from each and the eight best third-placed teams to the Round of 32.
Challenges and Unanswered Questions:
The complexity of the schedule arises from hosting four games per day across various time zones and climates. Kickoff times, traditionally set before the draw, remain undecided, taking into account global TV audiences and time zone challenges. Concerns include player rest and safety, particularly in different climates, and potential inconveniences related to extensive travel across North America.
As the 2026 World Cup promises an unparalleled sporting spectacle, the intricate scheduling details and logistical considerations underline the challenges inherent in hosting such a massive and highly anticipated event.