With the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup launch just two days away, CONCACAF.com continues its daily look at one of the 12 participants. Today, we feature the United States – the team that has the second-most titles (five) and the most wins (51) in Gold Cup history.
Gold Cup Glance: USA
Head Coach: Bruce Arena (USA)
Qualification Method: automatic North American entrant
Previous Appearances: 13 (1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Best Finish: Champion-5 (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013)
Record: 51W 8D 8L 134GF 49GA
Current GC All-Time Ranking: 1 out of 24
Biggest Win: 6-0 v Cuba (July 18, 2015)
All-Time Leading GC Scorer: Landon Donovan (18 goals)
Only Mexico has enjoyed more success in the CONCACAF Gold Cup than the United States. The Americans have captured five titles -- two less than their rival to the south.
After lifting the trophy in 2013, the U.S. finished fourth in 2015, which meant it needed to beat champion Mexico in the first-ever CONCACAF Cup to qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. In a thrilling encounter, the Mexicans prevailed, 3-2 after extra time.
Former head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. parted ways in November 2016 and Bruce Arena was tabbed as his replacement. It’s a second spell in charge for the 65-year-old, who previously led the side to two Gold Cup titles (2002, 2005) and a historic quarterfinal finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, beating Portugal in their opening match and earning a 2-0 shutout against Mexico in the Round of 16.
Many of the top U.S. players were not named to the 2017 Gold Cup roster, including forwards Clint Dempsey (top scorer in 2015 Gold Cup, 7 goals) and Jozy Altidore (37 international goals), as well as midfielders Michael Bradley (captain) and Christian Pulisic.
The Americans, though, still have plenty of talent to spur a challenge for top honors.
Defender Omar Gonzalez has won 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League and 2016 Liga MX Apertura titles with Mexico’s Pachuca, while FC Dallas teammates defender Matt Hedges and midfielder Kellyn Acosta appear poised to take on key roles.
Defenders Graham Zusi and Matt Besler possess World Cup experience, which benefit the Gold Cup cause.
It is not easy to defeat the U.S. at home in the Gold Cup’s group stage. In 34 games through the 2015 edition, the Americans have lost only once (2011: 2-1 v Panama in Tampa, Florida), while winning 28 times.
The U.S. owns the record for most wins in Gold Cup history (51).