CONCACAF Announces 16 Team Gold Cup Expansion

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Santa Clara, CA - JULY 26: Jamaica goalkeeper Duwayne Miller (13) battles with Jamaica defender Damion Lowe (3) and United States defender Matt Besler (5) to make a save during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final match between the United States v Jamaica at Levi's Stadium on July 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

MIAMI, FLORI. (Feburary 26, 2018) – Yesterday, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced that it will be expanding to a 16 team Gold Cup format beginning in the 2019 iteration of the tournament. This is an expansion from the 12 team tournament format.

CONCACAF Announces 16 Team Gold Cup Expansion Beginning in 2019

CONCACAF is also open to the possibility of having matches in the 2019 Gold Cup outside the United States of America. The Confederation is also exploring the possibility of further host expansion outside the United States for future tournaments.

“The expansion of the Gold Cup and the upcoming launch of the CONCACAF Nations League are key steps in delivering on the ONE CONCACAF Vision, to make the region’s most competitive football more accessible to more of our Confederation’s teams, players and fans,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani. “By widening access to these important tournaments for more of our Member Associations, we work towards our goal of ensuring that the football produced in the CONCACAF region is of the highest quality in the world.”

This expansion will allow smaller soccer nations who previously only had minimal participation in the tournament. This growth by four teams will provide tremendous opportunity and exposure for soccer nations to take part in a larger (if not the largest for countries that have never made it to the World Cup) in their soccer history.

The qualification for next year’s tournament as well as the format with 16 teams is unclear, but more information should be available at the CONCACAF Nations League launch event, on March 7 in Miami Beach. It is possible that the tournament will still have a four team group stage and will move to an eight team knockout stage with the top two teams from each group qualifying.

The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off next summer in the United States and possibly elsewhere.

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