The field for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the biennial national tournament to determine the best team in CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) is pretty much set with the completion of the area’s inter-regional championship tournaments completed. The Gold Cup is played every two years during the month of July in cities across the USA.
The Gold Cup brings together the top four teams each from the Caribbean and Central America, the three North America teams and a final berth goes to the winner of a home-and-away series between the fifth-placed finishers from the Caribbean and Central America. Next summer, the tournament is scheduled for July 7-26, 2015.
Recently, the 2014 Caribbean championship was won by host Jamaica when it defeated arch-rival Trinidad and Tobago. In Central America, at the completion of that tournament (UNCAF), which was played in the USA earlier in the year, Costa Rica defeated Guatemala in the final.
The previous Gold Cup champions, all from North America – six time winner Mexico, five-time winner and current champion USA and Canada, which won the tournament once – are all in the current field since they are always automatic qualifiers.
The 11 teams which qualified so far for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup are Canada, Mexico and the USA; the top four teams from the Caribbean (CFU), champion Jamaica, runner-up Trinidad and Tobago, third-place finisher Haiti and Cuba; and the best four teams from Central America, which are champion Costa Rica, second-placed Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador.
The final berth will be determined when the two fifth-placed teams from the Caribbean and Central America – French Guiana and Honduras – respectively, play a home-and-away series on March 25 at French Guiana and at Honduras on March 29, 2015.
Thirteen venues will host the games. CONCACAF President Jeffrey Web issued a statement regarding the hosting of the 2015 Gold Cup. “We would like to thank all cities and venues across the United States — and in fact North America as a whole — for their continued interest in our Confederation’s marque event, the Gold Cup. We congratulate those which have been selected to host the 2015 edition,” said the CONCACAF President. “The explosive growth of the game across CONCACAF has been on display recently on the world’s stage, and we now look forward to bringing this success home to our regional fans during our premier tournament.”
The venues that will host the games next July include MLS team FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium, which will host the kick-off game on July 7 featuring the defending champion USA. Toronto FC’s BMO Field is among the stadiums and marks the first time a Gold Cup game will be played in Canada. Other MLS stadiums that will host games are MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy’s StubHub Center, New England Revolution’s Gillette Stadium, Houston Dynamo’s BBVA Compass Stadium and Sporting Kansas City’s Sporting Park.
The other host cities are Atlanta (The Georgia Dome), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium), Charlotte (Bank of America Stadium), Chicago (Soldier Field), New York (MetLife Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field) and Phoenix (University of Phoenix).