CONCACAF Gold Cup Games
The 2023 Gold Cup begins this summer, and Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium will host two matches. CONCACAF held its official draw for this summer’s tournament on Friday; we should receive more details regarding the match schedule and ticket soon.
Imagine an entire summer without seeing the USMNT and Mexico battling it out in competition, yet still be entertained and cheer on other teams! Luckily, numerous other squads are competing that we can also follow and root for.
The Qualifying Stage
The Gold Cup is the premier men’s competition of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Thirteen nations (including the invited side, Qatar) will play each other during Group Stage games from June 24 to July 4. Group winners will advance to knockout stage games featuring quarterfinals on July 8-9, semifinals on July 12, and our final at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on July 16.
This year marks the 17th time the tournament has taken place and features some of the world’s most outstanding basketball talent from America and Mexico. Canada was last year’s champion after defeating them in the 2021 final, while the USA will aim to capture an eighth title this time.
The tournament has evolved into a double-elimination event known as The Gold Cup. It derives its name from its original name – Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Football Championships – but has taken many different names and formats over time, most recently with NAFC merging with CCCF in 1961.
Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Kitts and Nevis joined 13 nations already competing in the Gold Cup by qualifying through a preliminary round held at Inter Miami CF’s DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and featuring two games of single-match elimination.
Teams submitted their 60-player rosters by May 25 to be considered for participation in this tournament. Mexico and Canada share one group as they were both at the top of their CONCACAF Nations League table.
All Group Stage games will be broadcast live by Fox Sports in the United States and Sportsnet in Canada, featuring John Strong (play-by-play commentator) and Stu Holden (analyst). Their lead commentary team will call every USMNT matchup during the tournament.
United States and Mexico currently lack permanent head coaches; with Jaime Lozano has replaced Diego Cocca after being dismissed, and Gregg Berhalter being replaced with B.J. Callaghan, who will act as interim manager until Berhalter returns as coach – both sides could field inexperienced squads for the first time since this tournament started back in 1991.
The Group Stage
The Gold Cup group stage began on June 24 and continues through July 16, with 16 teams divided into four groups of four. This year’s competition includes guest Qatar alongside CONCACAF members and regional powers.
Tournament organizers divide each team into groups and set each against another in a round-robin format. A win earns three points, while a winner awards one. When two teams tie on ends, their totals determine their ranking; otherwise, goal difference comes into play before goals are scored as criteria to break ties between them. Only the top two teams from each group move on to the quarterfinals.
The United States are the reigning Gold Cup champions and aim to build on their recent Nations League triumphs. Starting their group phase campaign at Las Vegas’ BBVA Stadium against Cuba on Wednesday will be no easy task, yet they have an excellent track record, having won seven out of nine Gold Cup games this past year alone; Luis Paradela and Arichell Hernandez have both performed admirably for the United squad.
Canada will aim to improve their poor showing in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. They recently appointed Luis Fernando Tena as coach, hoping that they can repeat their best-ever finish at the Gold Cup tournament. Goalkeeper Nick Hagen has been an essential factor for Canada, keeping clean sheets in each group phase matchup they have played.
Jamaica stands out with their high-scoring style of play and are seeded third for this tournament; they won their qualifying group and face El Salvador as their opening matchup.
Panama or Guadeloupe will vie for the final spot in the quarterfinals, tied with six points after three victories in four group matches. Whoever emerges victorious will face Mexico again – in a repeat of two Gold Cup finals – with Canada facing off against Group D’s second-place team as their opponent.
The Knockout Stage
The Gold Cup is a biennial competition held to select a continental champion among men’s national soccer teams from member associations of CONCACAF. Initially known as the CONCACAF Championship, it was used as a qualifier for World Cup qualification rounds until its name changed to separate event status in 1991.
Since that change, the tournament has grown increasingly popular and attracts people every two years. Since 1992, it has seen nine winners: the United States, Mexico, and Canada have won nine times each out of 22 editions, with Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras each taking home one victory each.
This year, CONCACAF’s tournament will include 14 different venues across North America – from TQL Stadium in Cincinnati to more traditional stadiums across both countries – expanding the game and increasing exposure for regional competition.
CONCACAF will release a complete match schedule, ticketing information, and other details soon after its official draw for this tournament on Friday. In particular, officials will reveal where groups will play Gold Cup games.
As soon as the group stage concludes on July 4, the top two teams in each group will advance to the Knockout Stage, consisting of quarterfinals, semifinals, and final. Quarterfinal matches will occur on July 8 & 9, with the last games slated for July 16 as they await completion.
TQL Stadium has long been used as an international match venue. Last fall, TQL hosted the 2021 USMNT-Mexico FIFA World Cup Qualifier, which concluded in a 2-0 United States win. Furthermore, last June’s friendly between the United States and Morocco attracted an overflowing sell-out crowd.
TQL Stadium will host two of Cincinnati’s four knockout-round matches scheduled for July 8 and 9. A 5 p.m. ET doubleheader featuring Groups A and D winners against each other, followed by a 7:30 p.m. ET showdown between Group A’s winner and its runner-up from Group B, will occur there on both days.
CONCACAF Gold Cup Games feature the top national teams from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean along with guest nations from outside this region. On July 16, Mexico holds the record with nine titles won; the United States will follow this with seven victories, and Canada will claim one win.
USMNT are the defending champions of this year’s Gold Cup and looking to repeat their 2009 and 2011 victories over Mexico by placing first or second in their group – they’re in formidable company here, having been drawn among three of the four seeds from 2022 Concacaf Nations League!
These seeds will be joined by the winners of the preliminaries and AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar as guest participants. Twelve qualifying nations were drawn into three groups in September before being combined into one larger one for quarterfinal play on July 12 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, and TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.
After a 2-2 tie in the first leg, penalty kicks were the deciding factor. USA players Cade Cowell, Busio, and Jesus Ferreira converted their spot kicks for America’s 2-1 victory. One notable aspect of this match was when assistant referee Christian Espinosa from Mexico was hit in the face by a hard-hit ball early on and had to leave due to injury; Caleb Wales from Trinidad and Tobago replaced him.
Though they had an inauspicious start, the United Soccer Men’s National Team will likely advance to the Semifinals and meet Mexico or Jamaica. However, a small side from Group C or D might present them with a formidable opponent. Whatever comes their way, they should remain strong contenders.