The 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup features 12 teams from the North/Central America and Caribbean region and will be played from July 7 – 26 in the United States. The winner qualifies for the 2019 CONCACAF Cup which determines the CONCACAF representative at the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Fox Sports (English), UniMas (Spanish), Univision, and UDN will air matches in the U.S.
The 3-week tournament will be played at 14 venues across the U.S. with Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara hosting the final on July 26. The 68,500 seat venue is best known as home of the San Francisco 49er’s but is quietly becoming a regular soccer venue. It hosted the opening match of the Copa American Centenario as well as 2 other group matches and a quarterfinal.
In addition to Santa Clara, Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium, Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, and San Antonio’s Alamodome will be first-time host for a Gold Cup match bring excitement of the regional event to local soccer fans in those markets.
The other stadiums being used for this year’s tournament are: Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, Denver’s Sports Authority, Frisco’s Toyota Stadium, Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, Harrison’s Red Bull Arena, Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, and Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.
The 12 teams are divided into 3 groups of 4 teams with the top 2 teams from each group along with the 2 best 3rd place teams advancing to the elimination round. Each team is allowed a 23-player roster although the teams advancing to the elimination round are allowed to make 6 changes within 24 hours of their final group match. New players selected must come from a 40 player provisional roster submitted to CONCACAF.
Honduras qualified for the 2017 Gold Cup as the winners of the 2017 Copa Centroamericana. Los Catrachos put in a dominant performance in that tournament. Head coach Jorge Luis Pinto has done a great job developing younger players to bring in some depth to the squad and no doubt will look to this summer to build confidence heading into their final games of CONCACAF World Cup in the fall.
Honduras has made 12 Gold Cup appearances with their best finish as runners-up coming in the inaugural tournament in 1991.
Honduras opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Friday, July 7 against Costa Rica before facing French Guiana on July 11 and closing the group stage against Canada on July 14.
Despite their recent good form at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in the CONCACAF Hexagonal for the 2018, FIFA World Cup, Costa Rica has struggled recently in the Gold Cup competition. The Ticos didn’t win a game in the 2015 Gold Cup and only narrowly qualified for this year’s tournament as the 4th place finisher at the 2017 Copa Centroamericana. The side is loaded with talent and with good form should go far this year.
Costa Rica has appeared in 12 Gold Cups with their best finish coming as runners-up in 2002. They have been knocked out at the quarterfinal stage in the previous 3 tournaments.
Costa Rica opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Friday, July 7 against Honduras before facing Canada on July 11 and closing the group stage against French Guiana on July 14.
French Guiana is one of two teams making their Gold Cup debut after qualifying by advancing to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinals. Les Yana Dòkòs is expected to feature one well-known player in Florent Malouda. The former French international, who played at the 2006 FIFA World Cup for Les Bleus, is eligible as he was born in the overseas department administered by France. French Guiana is not recognized by FIFA (so can not qualify for the FIFA World Cup or other tournaments) but is recognized by CONCACAF.
French Guiana opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Friday, July 7 against Canada before facing Honduras on July 11 and closing the group stage against Costa Rica on July 14.
Canada is the only team other than the U.S. and Mexico to win a Gold Cup title, claiming the silverware in 2000 (the also won the 1985 CONCACAF Championship, the predecessor of the Gold Cup). That improbable run has fans of the Maple Leafs always optimistic that ‘this could be our year’ although their recent form doesn’t give fans much to cheer about with no wins in their last 7 matches.
Les Rouges have been eliminated from 2018 World Cup qualifying so the full focus of head coach Octavio Zambrano will be on this tournament with a long view to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The roster includes 9 MLS based players.
“We have a dynamic team that has speed and offensive weapons,” Zambrano said in a release. “We have a balance between offense and defense. We want to go forward and have a high tempo, but we also have to make sure we have the defenders that are up to the task in our end.”
Canada opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Friday, July 7 against French Guiana before taking on Costa Rica on July 11 and closing the group stage against Honduras on July 14.
The United States was an automatic qualifier and top seed for Group B. The Stars and Stripes are the second most successful team with 5 championships with 2 of them (2002 and 2005) coming under current head coach Bruce Arena in his first stint at the helm. The U.S. has the most wins in Gold Cup history, however, with 51.
Arena is a master at utilizing his players and the 23-man roster for the Gold Cup features a mix of veterans and young talent. This is important to help the Red, White, and Blue be in a position to win this tournament and then be better prepared when World Cup qualifying resumes in the fall. This is the second youngest roster for the U.S. in Gold Cup history.
“It’s a good roster with a nice blend of experienced, veteran players and a good group of newcomers as well,” Arena said. “There’s good balance at every position. We can play a number of ways, and I think all these players have a desire to play for the U.S. and will be working hard. It will be a competitive camp. They are going to be highly motivated, very coachable and they have an opportunity to make a statement.”
The USMNT opens the tournament against Panama on Saturday, July 8 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. Following the opening match, the U.S. will go on to play Martinique on Wednesday, July 12, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Three days later, it will wrap up group play against either Haiti or Nicaragua on Saturday, July 15, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.
Panama has quietly become a regular challenger at the Gold Cup but has been forced to play the secondary role of bridesmaid in 2 of their 7 appearances. Los Canaleros qualified as the runners-up in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana with their only loss coming to eventual champion, Honduras.
The team took 3rd place in 2015, defeating the USA on Pk’s, but head coach Hernán Darío Gómez will not be happy to see them side in a group with their tournament nemesis. Panama has been ousted by the USA in 5 Gold Cups.
Panama opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday, July 8 against the USA before taking on Nicaragua on July 12 and closing the group stage against Martinique on July 15.
Martinique qualified for this summer’s tournament with their run to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinals and will be making their 4th appearance. Les Matinino's best run came in 2002 with a quarterfinal appearance.
Martinique opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday, July 8 against the Nicaragua before taking on the USA on July 12 and closing the group stage against Panama on July 15.
Nicaragua was the last team to qualify for the 2017 Gold Cup. 'La Azul y Blanco (The Blue and White)' defeated Haiti 4-3 on aggregate in the playoff between the 5th place teams from the Caribbean and Central American zones. And the achievement was somewhat of a miracle with captain Juan Barrera hitting a hat-trick in the final 8 minutes of the second leg. It is Nicaragua’s first appearance in the Gold Cup since 2009.
Nicaragua opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday, July 8 against the Martinique before taking on Panama on July 12 and closing the group stage against the USA on July 15.
Mexico has won more Gold Cup titles than any other country with 7 the most recent coming in 2015 but will arguably face one of their toughest challenges to date to repeat. El Tricolores bring an inexperienced roster to the US this summer having opted to send a stronger squad to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
It’s going to be a busy summer for Juan Carlos Osorio’s team, who will be sending a more experienced squad to the Confederations Cup in Russia. Thus, an inexperienced but still ultra-talented team will try and help Mexico defend its title as champions.
The tasks for the youthful squad with 7 players on the roster looking for their first Mexico cap will be to qualify for the elimination round which will then allow head coach Juan Carlos Osorio to bring in more veterans for a run at the final.
Mexico opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, July 9 against the El Salvador before taking on Jamaica on July 13 and closing the group stage against the Curacao on July 16.
After taking over as head coach in December 2016, Eduardo Lara has El Salvador headed to their 10th Gold Cup after a run to the semifinals of the 2017 Copa Centroamericana. The Cuscatlecos have advanced to the quarterfinals on 4 occasions.
El Salvador opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, July 9 against the Mexico before taking on Curacao on July 13 and closing the group stage against the Jamaica on July 16.
The second team making their Gold Cup debut in 2017 is Curacao. Coach Remko Bicentini side defeated Jamaica 2-1 to win the Caribbean Cup. The achievement caps off a great run for the former island of the Netherlands Antilles. Since becoming an independent FIFA member in 2011, Curacao are in their first major international tournament with sights on building a foundation to take them even higher.
Curacao opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, July 9 against the Jamaica before taking on El Salvador on July 13 and closing the group stage against the Mexico on July 16.
Jamaica had a historic run to the 2015 Gold Cup final which included a semifinal victory over the host USA on the way to a runners-up finish. The Reggae Boyz won’t take anything for granted after losing to Curacao in the Caribbean Cup final. But are confident for the future.
"I am sure that for the Gold Cup we can improve, so we can expect greater things then from the team," assistant coach JeromeWaite said.
Jamaica opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, July 9 against the Curacao before taking on Mexico on July 13 and closing the group stage against the El Salvador on July 16.
The major sponsors for this year’s tournament are Allstate, Cerveza Modelo de Mexico, Nike, Post Consumer Holdings, Scotiabank, and Sprint.