Excited for the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup? Good! However, you might not know the entirety of who is playing and who won’t be participating. We’ve got you covered with a rundown of the teams getting involved this summer. Here’s everything you need to know about the Gold Cup qualification format.
Qualification for the CONCACAF Gold Cup goes hand-in-hand with the CONCACAF Nations League Competition. The group winners and runners-up of League A automatically pass into the Gold Cup group stage. The League B group winners also get the same pathway to the Gold Cup.
That means that Mexico, Panama, Canada, and the USMNT have qualified by winning their groups within the League A system, whereas Jamaica, Costa Rica, Honduras, and El Salvador join them as the runners-up.
FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira finished as the top scorer in League A, netting four goals for the USMNT.
The League B contingent joining the party consists of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
Nicaragua are making just their fourth appearance in the Gold Cup after going undefeated in their group within the CONCACAF Nations League, picking up four wins from six games.
Qatar, a team from Asia are also playing!
They’re an official guest nation of the confederation to help bolster numbers, improve the overall quality of the competition, as well as adding a unique occasion to the event as a whole. After all, it’s uncommon that a team from the Arabian desert would play the best nations from the Caribbean and the Americas.
Who Still Has Hopes for Gold Cup Qualification?
There are just three precious spots left. These will be determined by a prelim tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which will be broken down into three smaller knockout competitions with four teams vying for a spot.
Trinidad and Tobago, Guadeloupe, Guyana, and Grenada contest one route, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Puerto Rico playoff for the second spot while the last one is contested between Curacao, Saint Kitts and Nevis, French Guiana, and Sint Maarten.
Trinidad and Tobago are arguably the biggest team in this phase. However, it’s been some time since they last made waves in the competition, having finished third in 2000. Conversely, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Sint Maarten, and Puerto Rico are looking to qualify for their first-ever Gold Cup.
Teams playing against Sint Maarten will have to look out for Gerwin Lake, the Dutch-born winger who scored eight goals for his country in League C and will no doubt want to make history with his nation.
Who Isn’t Going To Be Playing?
Some teams didn’t perform very well in their groups during the CONCACAF group stage and subsequently will play not any part in the qualification phase. Therefore, it’s better luck next time to Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Montserrat, Bahamas, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominican Republic, Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands, Aruba, Saint Martin, Anguilla, Dominica, Cayman Islands, and British Virgin Islands.