The CONCACAF Gold Cup is set for some change as expansion and a potential change of scenery could be coming to the 2019 tournament.
CONCACAF announced on Monday that the Gold Cup will expand to include 16 nations for the upcoming 2019 edition and beyond. The tournament previously featured 12 countries separated into three groups.
In addition, the tournament may feature matches outside of the U.S. for only the fourth time since 1991 as the federation is exploring the idea of a pan-regional footprint for the 2019 Gold Cup. The federation says that, for the first time, matches could be played in Central America and the Carribean with the U.S., Mexico and Canada having served as prior match hosts.
The new-look qualifying process for a 16-team tournament will be revealed in March.
“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.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team won the most recent Gold Cup, topping Jamaica in the tournament final this past summer.