The CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Gold Cup is the 4th continental tournament after the 2014 World Cup. Although the AFC Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations are organized early 2015, the Golden Cup will be hosted in the summer. Unlike many other continental tournaments, the CONCACAF Gold Cup is organised every 2 years and not every 4 years. The kick-off of the 13th edition of the tournament is on July 7 2015 and ends on July 26 2015.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is not as old in comparison to other continental tournaments. The first time this tournament was organized was in 1991 in the USA. Before the Gold Cup there was the CONCACAF Championship which took place between 1962 and 1989. In 1991 only 8 teams participated: Costa Rica, USA, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras and Guatemala. USA defeated Honduras in the Final after the penalty shootout. USA scored 4 out of 8 penalties and Honduras scored 3 out of 8 penalties.
The North American teams always qualify automatically for the Gold Cup: USA, Mexico and Canada. Teams from Central America and the Caribbean qualified depending on the results of the Copa Centroamericana and the Caribbean Cup tournaments. Before 2011 the Copa Centroamericana was named offcially the UNCAF Nations Cup. In the early tournaments only 2 teams of each tournament qualified for the Gold Cup, but this has increased to a total of 4 teams per tournament. The number 5 of the Caribbean Cup and the Copa Centroamericana have to play a play-off to earn the last available ticket for the Gold Cup.
Normally a CONCACAF Gold Cup is organized every 2 years with 2 exceptions. After the 1993 edition it took 3 years before the next was hosted and after the 2002 edition it only took 1 year for the 2003 edition to be hosted.
|Country||CONCACAF Gold Cup||Total|
|Mexico||1991-2013 (all Gold Cups)||12|
|USA||1991-2013 (all Gold Cups)||12|
|Costa Rica||1991, 1993, 1998-2013||11|
|Guatemala||1991, 1996-2007, 2011||9|
|Jamaica||1991, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011||8|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1991, 1996-2002, 2005, 2007, 2013||8|
|El Salvador||1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007-2013||8|
|Cuba||1998, 2002-2007, 2011, 2013||7|
|Haiti||2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2013||5|
|Martinique||1993, 2002, 2003, 2013||4|
|Guadeloupe||2007, 2009, 2011||3|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1996||1|
The first edition in 1991 included 8 teams which changed to 9 teams in 1996. This was the first time a non CONCACAF member was invited to the tournament. This team was Brazil. In the next edition in 1998 Brazil was invited again and the amount increased to 10 teams. In 2000 the amount of teams increased to 12, and hasn’t changed since. Since the 2007 Gold Cup, no more guests from other confederations participated.
The current CONACAF Gold Cup champion is the USA. They defeated Panama with 1-0 in the 2013 Final. Mexico however is the most succesful Gold Cup team with 6 wins in total: 1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009 and 2011. The current all-time top scorer is former American player Landon Donovan with 18 goals.
The upcoming 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be hosted in USA as usual. Each Gold Cup has been hosted in the USA, with the help from Mexico in 1993 and 2003. For the first time since 2003 there will be a match for the third place. The teams that automatically qualified are USA, Mexico and Canada. The top 4 teams of the 2014 Copa Centroamericana which was played between 3–13 September and 4 teams from the Caribbean Cup which was played between 10-17 November also qualified. The number 5 of both tournaments will have to play a play-off to earn a ticket for the Gold Cup.
Top 4 teams of the 2014 Copa Centroamericana
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
Top 4 teams of the 2014 Caribbean Cup
- Trinidad and Tobago
|Group A||Group B||Group C|
|Haiti||Jamaica||Trinidad and Tobago|
The 12 teams will be divided in 3 groups. The 2 top teams per group and 2 best third place teams advance to the quarter-finals, where the knock-out stage starts. The winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup will have to play a play-off match against the USA in order to qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia as well. If the USA win the Gold Cup, they immediately qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup.
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