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In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a whole lotta fútbol going on this summer. From Euro qualifiers to the 2015 Copa América to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, we’ve tried to cover pretty much all of it here on the blog. The Copa América and the Women’s World Cup end this weekend. Thankfully, the CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on Tuesday. Officially, it is being co-hosted by the United States and Canada, but only two of the scheduled 24 matches are being held in Canada, so Canada needs to stop. Let’s learn a bit about the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

 

Who’s Playing?

 

The CONCACAF is a virtual little baby compared to conferences like UEFA and CONMEBOL, as it has only been around since 1991. Prior to that, the nations that make up the CONCACAF were split into two different conferences, the CCCF and the NAFC. The CCCF (Confederación Centroamericana y del Caribe de Fútbol) was made up of all of the nations from Central America; Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Suriname (Aruba also competed at some point). The NAFC (North American Football Conference) meanwhile, was made up of Canada, Mexico and the United States (Cuba was in it until that whole embargo thing). The two conferences merged in 1961, and 30 years later, the Gold Cup was created:

 

  • Group A: United States, Panama, Haiti and Honduras
  • Group B: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica and Canada
  • Group C: Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba

 

Tournament History

 

 

In no particular order, here’s some interesting tidbits about the tournament:

 

  • Prior to the creation of the Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Championship was held ten times from 1963 until 1989, but it just didn’t have a fancy name.
  • The winners of that tournament are as follows: Costa Rica (1963, 1969, 1989), Mexico (1965, 1971, 1977), Guatemala (1967), Haiti (1973),Honduras (1981) and Canada (1985)
  • The United States hosted and won the first installment of the Gold Cup in 1991, and have hosted, or co-hosted, every one of the 13 tournaments (co-hosted with Mexico in 1993 and 2003, and with Canada this year).
  • Mexico has the most championships with six (1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011), while the United States has five (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013). Canada is the only other country to win it (2000).
  • Six other nations have been invited to play in the tournament: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa and South Korea. There have been no guests since the 2003 tourney.
  • Other caribbean nations to participate: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize and Nicaragua.
  • Here’s how nations qualify for the Gold Cup: The three teams from the old NCAF (USA, Mexico and Canada) all qualify automatically. The top four teams from the Copa Centroamericana (Central American Cup) and the Caribbean Cup all get in. Finally, there’s a playoff between the two fifth place teams from the Centroamericana and the Caribbean Cups.

 

For the Stat Heads

 

 

 

Just the Facts, Ma’am

 

 

  • The tournament will start on Tuesday, July 7th and finish up on July 26th (my wedding day, how nice!)
  • The top two teams from each group, and the top two third place teams, all move on to the knockout round.
  • The tournament will be played at 13 total venues across the United States, and also at BMO Field in Toronto. Thanks, Canada. Don’t tire yourselves out.
  • The winner of the tournament will go on to represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
  • All games will be broadcast in the United States on FOX and Univisión.
Martin Stezano

About Martin Stezano

Uruguayan born and American raised with a unique perspective on the domestic and international sports scenes. It will both tickle your funny bone and enlighten your mind. Love it or hate it...just read it.

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