The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF) was formed in 1961. In 1990 they created a tournament to showcase the regional champions. Since the formation of the cup, the Gold Cup Championship has been won six times by Mexico, five times by the United States, and once by Canada. Runners-up include Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama.
Teams from across the Americas qualify into the Gold Cup through other tournaments, except three teams. United States, Mexico, and Canada automatically qualify for the Gold Cup. The top 4 Teams in the Copa Centroamericana and the top 4 teams from the Caribbean Cup are qualified. The 5th placed team at both the Copa Centroamericana and Caribbean Cup face off to qualify into the Gold Cup.
From this tournament, it is determined the regional champion of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The winning team goes forward to the FIFA Confederations Cup.
In the past, when the Gold Cup did not fall on the same year as the FIFA Confederations Cup the highest placed team qualified for the next staging of the tournament. Starting this year, the winners of two successive Gold Cups (or the 2013 and 2015 winners) will face each other in a playoff to determine who will enter the Confederations Cup. If the same team has won consecutive Gold Cups, there will be no playoff and that team will automatically qualify for the Confederations Cup.
What else is new this year? This year, Canada will have two matches played on their home turf, marking the first time the CONCACAF Gold Cup is played in the country. We will see the following teams compete this year: United States, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Cuba, and Honduras. Matches will be played in East Rutherford New Jersey, Charlotte, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Carson California, Foxborough Massachusetts, Glendale Arizona, Houston, Toronto, Frisco Texas, Chester Pennsylvania, Kansas City, and the Final match will take place in Philadelphia at the Lincoln Financial Field.
The first matches will be played on July 7th with the Final match played on July 26th. You can watch the games through Fox Sports, and in Spanish on Univision in the United States. It will make for an exciting month of soccer!