Concacaf sets stage for expanded Gold Cup action

By Paul Nicholson in Los Angeles

April 11 – The tag line is ‘This is Ours’ and yesterday in Los Angeles the full detail of how the expanded Concacaf Gold Cup is being shared across the US and for the first time into Jamaica and Costa Rica was unveiled.

This summer the Gold Cup moves from a 12 to 16-team format for the first time, expanding the number of games that will be played and the cities that it will be played in. It also expands the competitive playing opportunity for Concacaf’s national associations.

It is a move that has been embraced by the countries across the region and will for the first time see the MLS stop play for the duration of the regional championship.

“This is our flagship competition,” Concacaf president Victor Montagliani told Insideworldfootball at the Concacaf Congress in Las Vegas two weeks ago. “There were concerns expressed about quality (of competition) but I don’t have them, this is part of football. I don’t expect the smaller nations to beat the bigger ones but we have seen results like Curacao only losing 2-1 to Mexico.

“What we are seeing is a lot of our bigger nations encouraging the smaller ones. It is very much in the spirit of ‘One Concacaf’…our thinking was based around how do we make them (members’ national teams) better. The ‘This is Ours’ slogan embodies what we are trying to achieve.”

The 15th edition of the Gold Cup, as well as travelling outside the US for the first time, will see an expansion to 17 stadiums used, up from 14 in 2017, eight of which are in contention to become a 2026 FIFA World Cup venue.

The tournament begins with a double header on June 15 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with Canada and Martinique marking the start of Group A action, followed by seven-time Gold Cup champions Mexico playing Cuba. The final will be played July 7 at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

“The love for football is demonstrated with every passing edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup,” said Montagliani. “Bringing the 16-team Gold Cup to Costa Rica, Jamaica and the United States is a watershed moment for football in our Confederation.  This 15th edition will make the tournament more competitive and compelling for players and fans, while showcasing our region’s unity, passion for football and talent on the field.”

As part of the event at the Banc of California Stadium, the home of MLS side LAFC in Los Angeles, Concacaf showcased its NextPlay grassroots development initiative which uses the game to create safe spaces in member association local communities, while at the same time promoting social values. It is another part of Concacaf’s expanding footprint under Montagliani’s leadership.

Camarena joins the Gold Cup party

While the venues and match-ups were being unveiled, and somewhat in the spirit of celebration of the competition, Concacaf also announced Camarena Tequila as the official tequila of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

“We are proud to team up with Camarena Tequila, a distinctive brand with a passion for football and culture,” said Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio. “This partnership will enhance the Gold Cup experience for football fans through exciting and innovative activations, all while they enjoy one of the biggest celebrations of our game.”

Camarena Tequila will activate its sponsorship in select Concacaf Gold Cup markets, and will create and distribute co-branded items at retail and in bars and restaurants.

Camarena joins Allstate Insurance Company, Cerveza Modelo, Nike, Scotiabank, Sprint and Toyota as official sponsors of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Match Schedule
*Local time and order of the matches subject to change

Saturday, June 15 – Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (Group A)
4:30 pm Canada v Martinique
6:30 pm Mexico v Cuba

Sunday, June 16 – Estadio Nacional, San José, Costa Rica (Group B)
4:00 pm Haiti v Bermuda
6:00 pm Costa Rica v Nicaragua

Monday, June 17 – Independence Park, Kingston, Jamaica (Group C)
6:00 pm Curaçao v El Salvador
8:00 pm Jamaica v Honduras

Tuesday, June 18 – Allianz Field, St. Paul, MN (Group D)
6:30 pm Panama v Trinidad and Tobago
8:30 pm USA v Guyana

Wednesday, June 19 – Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, CO (Group A)
6:00 pm Cuba v Martinique
8:00 pm Mexico v Canada

Thursday, June 20 – Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX (Group B)
6:00 pm Nicaragua v Haiti
8:00 pm Costa Rica v Bermuda

Friday, June 21 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX (Group C)
6:00 pm El Salvador v Jamaica
8:00 pm Honduras v Curaçao

Saturday, June 22 – FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH (Group D)
5:30 pm Guyana v Panama
7:30 pm USA v Trinidad and Tobago

Sunday, June 23 – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC (Group A)
6:00 pm Canada v Cuba
8:00 pm Martinique v Mexico

Monday, June 24 – Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ (Group B)
6:30 pm Bermuda v Nicaragua
8:30 pm Haiti v Costa Rica

Tuesday, June 25 – Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, CA (Group C)
5:00 pm Jamaica v Curaçao
7:00 pm Honduras v El Salvador

Wednesday, June 26 – Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS (Group D)
5:30 pm Trinidad and Tobago v Guyana
7:30 pm Panama v USA

Saturday, June 29 – NRG Stadium, Houston, TX 
6:00 pm QF1: 1B v 2A
8:30 pm QF2: 1A v 2B

Sunday, June 30 – Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA 
5:30 pm QF3: 1C v 2D
8:00 pm QF4: 1D v 2C

Tuesday, July 2 – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
7:00 pm SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2

Wednesday, July 3 – Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
8:00 pm SF2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Sunday, July 7– Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
8:00 pm F: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1560879566labto1560879566ofdlr1560879566owedi1560879566sni@n1560879566osloh1560879566cin.l1560879566uap1560879566