Five Things to Know About the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup

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U.S. Soccer

The countdown to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup is well underway, and things are shaping up nicely for the 15th confederation championship this summer.

Here are Five Things to Know about the tournament:

Why It’s Important

Not only is the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup the MNT’s initial competition of the 2022 FIFA World Cup cycle, it will also be the team’s first under new MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter. The high stakes matches will give Berhalter and his staff a good look at how the emerging player pool stacks up against the top teams in the region as the group marches towards the inaugural Concacaf Nations League this year and the start of FIFA World Cup Qualifying later in the cycle.


Jordan Morris celebrates his 88th-minute game-winner vs. Jamaica in the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup Final (John Dorton / ISI Photos)

Beyond that, regional supremacy is on the line. In terms of all-time tournament glory, the USA can tie Mexico’s seven tournament titles if it lifts the trophy on July 7 at Chicago’s Soldier Field – the site of MNT Gold Cup championship victories in 2007 and 2013. 

Dates and MNT Schedule

The 15th edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup runs from June 15-July 7, with 15 venues across the United States hosting a vast majority of the games. The tournament groups were unveiled on April 10 in Los Angeles, with Concacaf placing the USA in Group D alongside Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Panama.

The June 18 tournament opener represents a day of firsts for the MNT. The side will have its first meeting against Guyana's Golden Jaguars as well as making its first visit to Minnesota and brand-new Allianz Field in Saint Paul. Tickets for the match sold out on Dec. 5, 2018 – marking the fastest stadium sellout in tournament history.

The MNT will follow up with a tasty rematch against Trinidad & Tobago on on June 22 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, before closing group play against Panama on June 26 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Prior to the tournament, the USA will play two warm-up friendlies against Jamaica on June 5 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., before facing Venezuela on June 9 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. 

See the MNT’s full schedule below:

2019 Concacaf Gold Cup – U.S. MNT Schedule Overview

Dates

Event

Location

Tickets

Late May

Training Camp Opens

TBD

--

June 5

USA vs. Jamaica (Friendly)

Audi Field; Washington, D.C.

TICKETS

June 9 USA vs. Venezuela (Friendly) Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio TICKETS

June 18

USA vs. Guyana 

Allianz Field; St. Paul, Minn.

SOLD OUT

June 22

USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago

FirstEnergy Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio

TICKETS

June 26

Panama vs. USA

Children’s Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.

TICKETS

June 30

Quarterfinal

Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pa.

TICKETS

July 3

Semifinal

Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.

TICKETS

July 7

Final

Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.

TICKETS

The FOX and Univision Networks will broadcast the matches in the United States.

Changes for 2019

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 at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Tournament Field 

Under the expanded 16-team format, the path to qualify for the tournament is also different.

Automatically qualified were the six teams that took part in the final round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying (“The Hex”): Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA.

The remaining teams punched their ticket by placing in the top 10 of the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League qualifying tournament. Also meant to set the tiers for the inaugural edition of the Concacaf Nations League to commence this fall, the qualifiers began last September and were completed during the March 2019 FIFA International window. 

2019 Gold Cup groups

The teams that qualified via this route: Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, Curaçao, El Salvador, Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, Martinique and Nicaragua.

The tournament groups were announced on April 10 in Los Angeles. 

U.S. History in the Gold Cup

The USA has taken part in all 14 editions of the tournament, winning on six occasions, just one behind rivals Mexico. The MNT lifted the inaugural trophy in 1991, followed by championships in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013 and the most recent competition in 2017.

A two-time Golden Boot winner and the only player to score in six different Gold Cups, Landon Donovan holds the tournament’s all-time goals record with 18, along with U.S. records for Gold Cup caps (34) and assists (17).


Landon Donovan celebrates his goal in the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup Final win against Mexico (John Dorton/ISI Photos)

Kasey Keller, whose 10-save performance helped the USA to its only win against Brazil during the 1998 Gold Cup semifinal, tops the U.S. goalkeeper charts in caps (23), wins (17) and clean sheets (14).

Below is a breakdown of the 14 previous tournaments:

Year

Champion

Runner-Up

Third Place

Fourth Place

Top Scorer/Golden Boot Winner

1991

USA

Honduras

Mexico

Costa Rica

4; Benjamín Galindo (MEX)

1993

Mexico

USA

Costa Rica

Jamaica

11; Zague (MEX)

1996

Mexico

Brazil

USA

Guatemala

4; Eric Wynalda (USA)

1998

Mexico

USA

Brazil

Jamaica

4; Luis Hernández (MEX), Paulo Wanchope (CRC)

2000

Canada

Colombia

Trinidad & Tobago/Peru

4; Carlo Corrazin (CAN)

2002

USA

Costa Rica

Canada

Korea Republic

4; Brian McBride (USA)

2003

Mexico

Brazil

USA

Costa Rica

4; Landon Donovan (USA),
Walter Centeno (CRC)

2005

USA

Panama

Honduras/Colombia

3; DaMarcus Beasley (USA)

2007

USA

Mexico

Canada/Guadeloupe

5; Carlos Pavón (HON)

2009

Mexico

USA

Costa Rica/Honduras

4; Miguel Sabah (MEX)

2011

Mexico

USA

Panama/Honduras

7; Javier Hernández (MEX)

2013

USA

Panama

Honduras/Mexico

5; Landon Donovan (USA),
Chris Wondolowski (USA),
Gabriel Torres (PAN)

2015

Mexico

Jamaica

Panama

USA

7; Clint Dempsey (USA)

2017

USA

Jamaica

Costa Rica/Mexico

3; Alphonso Davies (CAN)