The Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Associations of Soccer (CONCACAF) Gold Cup tournament is coming to Canada next year for the first time.
Costa Rica, which is the top seed in its group, will play its final first round match at Toronto’s BMO Field on July 14.
“Today marks another great step in Canada’s development to become a leading soccer nation and we would like to thank CONCACAF for the opportunity to have such a marquee event played on Canadian soil,” said Canadian Soccer president, Victor Montagliani. “Canadian soccer fans have always taken great pride in showing their support for Canada during this key tournament, travelling across the region to represent our country, and it is with great honour that we worked with CONCACAF to bring the beautiful game closer to them for the 2015 edition. We now hope that they will be rewarded with seeing Canada play its final group match in Toronto this summer.”
Gold Cup matches will also be played in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
“We would like to thank all cities and venues across the United Sates, and in fact North America as a whole, for their continued interest in our Confederation’s marquee event, the Gold Cup,” said CONCACAF president, Jeffrey Webb. “The explosive growth of the game across CONCACAF has been on display recently on the world’s stage and we now look forward to bringing this success home to our regional fans during our premier tournament.”
To date, 11 of 12 teams have qualified for the tournament, held every two years. They are Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States.
The final spot will be determined in March through a playoff between the Copa Centroamericana and the Caribbean Soccer Union fifth-place finishers Honduras and French Guiana, respectively. French Guiana will host the first leg match on March 25 and the return game will be played in Honduras four days later.
The seeded teams, based on current FIFA rankings, are the United States (Group A), Costa Rica (Group B) and Mexico (Group C).
The knockout round venues are Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.
Previous Gold Cup winners Canada, the United States and Mexico automatically qualified for the 2015 Gold Cup.