FIFA Tournament, Copa Oro, Ready to Kick Off

Alex Ruiz

Amid a bribery scandal, FIFA will host the 13th edition of CONCACAF Gold Cup. A tournament that is held every two years between the men’s national teams for a champion between the regions of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

For the first time ever, Canada will host the tournament alongside the United States. Since they are already hosting the Women’s FIFA World Cup, cohosting this tournament opens the door for future men’s tournaments to be held in that country as well.


The Gold Cup has been dominated by the USA and Mexico throughout its history. The only other country to have won the tournament is Canada, taking the trophy in the year 2000. The current champion is the United States. The US has won the tournament five times, while Mexico has come up with the cup a record six times.

Both powerhouses have also hosted the cup throughout the years, alternating between countries and co-hosting in 1993 and 2003. The football infrastructure does not compare with its rivals from the Central American and Caribbean countries. This is an indication as to why these two countries dominate the region when it comes to football tournaments.


A total of 12 teams are qualified for the tournament. Three berths were allocated to North America, four to Central America, and four to the Caribbean. For the first time, the two overall fifth-place teams of the Caribbean and Central American zone competed for the final berth of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Previously, five berths were allocated to Central America and four were allocated to the Caribbean.


After all the participant countries were confirmed, three groups were randomly assigned.

First, Group A with the United States, Panama, Haiti, and Honduras. Next, Group B with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Canada. Finally, Group C with Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba.


The teams in each group will play each other once, in round robin style. Teams with more wins and runners up of each group will advance automatically to the knockout stage. And, the two best third place teams will also advance to the next round.


In recent years, the Central American and Caribbean countries have proven fierce opponents to the mighty US and Mexico. Countries like Costa Rica and Honduras have given the US and Mexico a run for their money, case in point the last World Cup. Costa Rica classified as top seed from the CONCACAF region, while Honduras made it difficult for Mexico to advance; sending them to a two game elimination round for a berth for the World Cup in 2014.


It would be a refreshing surprise if a country besides the US and Mexico win the Gold Cup. Costa Rica could be a surprise with its strong team, but with their goalkeeper star, Keylor Navas, out of the tournament due to an Achilles injury, that is highly unlikely. What is for sure though, is that cities throughout the United States and Canada will get to enjoy quality football. Venues will be filled with “Sabor Latino” at every game.


The growth of the sport of football has steadily increased in the past few years. Part of it could be the success of the US National team in recent years. Also, the large Hispanic population in the United States certainly has helped the sport. Regardless of the reason, the US National Men’s Team and Mexico always draw big crowds. It will be an exciting tournament for sure!

Despite being favorites to win Copa Oro, Costa Rica will be without their star goalkeeper, Keylor Navas.
Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa
Despite being favorites to win Copa Oro, Costa Rica will be without their star goalkeeper, Keylor Navas.