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 sixteen groups of three teams each. In each group, each country will play two round-robin matches against the two other countries in that group. If the final score is the same, penalties will follow (no extensions) so that there is always a winner. The two top-scoring countries from each group will advance to the knockout stage. 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 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). This information comes from the BID and is by definition subject to change.
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 80 matches to be played, including the final.