The schedule of the 23rd final round of the World Cup soccer in the United States, Canada, and Mexico consists of the group stage, round of 32, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, third-place playoffs, and final. In the first round, the group stage, the 48 qualifying countries will be divided into twelve groups of four teams each. In each group, each country will play three round-robin matches against the three other countries in that group. The two top-scoring countries from each group will advance to the knockout stage, as well as the eight best group numbers three. In this stage, the men’s global final soccer tournament will proceed in accordance with the usual, well-known system of knockouts. From the round of 32 onwards, only the winner will advance in single-elimination matches, with or without an extension and penalties.
The schedule for the 2026 World Cup already shows that the opening match will be held on Sunday, May 31, 2026, either in Los Angeles in the Rose Bowl stadium – update June 16, 2022: the Rose Bowl is not one of the final host cities – or in Mexico City in the Azteca Stadium. The combined BID United from the host countries, the USA, Canada, and Mexico, has also proposed Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium) and Dallas (AT&T Stadium) as the backdrop for the semifinals. The final of the 2026 World Cup will be played in New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium), on Sunday 19 July, 2026.
This information comes from the BID and is, with regard to the locations, still subject to change. The mentioned dates of the opening game and of the final however, have been finalized.
Final dates and times matches 2026 World Cup
The dates and start times of the matches during the World Cup finals, together with the actual schedule, will follow at a later stage.
Final round: explanation schedule
Click for more information on how the schedule of the World Cup will work in 2026, with a total of 104 matches to be played, including the final.