The countdown to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup is well underway, and things are shaping up nicely for the 15th confederation championship this summer.
The 15th edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup runs from June 15-July 7, with 15 cities across the United States hosting a vast majority of the games. As the seeded team in Group D, the USA already knows the locations and dates for its first-round schedule, as well as the path the team will need to take in order to claim a record-tying seventh confederation championship.
With the Concacaf Nations League Qualifiers finished, we now know the full field for the 2019 Gold Cup.
Canada, Jamaica and eight other nations join the six countries to reach the 2018 World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal — United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago — to make up the 16 team field for this summer’s Gold Cup. This is the first year that the tournament will be 16 teams, up from 12 in 2017. The US men’s national team are defending champions, beating Jamaica in the final 2-1 two years ago.
Haiti, Canada and Martinique were the only three nations to win all four of their Concacaf Nations League qualifying matches to earn their place in the Gold Cup as well as Nations League Group A. Mexico, United States, Honduras and Costa Rica are seeded and will be in separate groups. The full groups will be drawn and match schedule revealed on April 10.
There are a couple importance changes to note for the 2019 edition:
For the first time, 16 teams will take part – up from the 12 which made up the tournament field going back to 2000. The expansion allows for more meaningful games for more teams around the confederation.
Secondly, while Mexico and Canada have hosted some tournament matches in the past, the 2019 edition marks the first time games will be held outside Concacaf’s North American region. Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica will host the Group B opening doubleheader on June 16, while the opening matches in Group C will be held the following day in a yet to be named Caribbean venue.
The group stage of the tournament will be announced on Wednesday, April 10th in Los Angeles, there won’t be a draw. There’s only going to be a presentation for the groups and the calendar for the competition.