Gold Cup launches Friday
The 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup will open on July 7, 2017, at Red Bull Arena (pictured) in Harrison, New Jersey, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

HARRISON, New Jersey – On the same day the first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup final was held, the 14th edition will kick-off Friday with a Group A doubleheader at Red Bull Arena.

In front of 39,873 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 7, 1991, the United States prevailed over Honduras, 4-3 on penalty kicks, after their decider ended in a scoreless draw.

The curtain will lift on the 2017 version of the region’s biennial championship for national teams with a meeting between debutant French Guiana and Canada, the only nation to hoist the trophy besides Mexico and the United States.  That encounter will be followed between an all-Central American contest between Honduras and Costa Rica.

Here are the three groups (Group B starts Saturday, while Group C commences Sunday):

GROUP A: Canada, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Honduras
GROUP B: Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama, USA
GROUP C: Curacao, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico

After the completion of 24 matches, the next champion will be crowned after the final on July 26 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Growing from an eight- to a 12-team competition, Gold Cup participants come from each of CONCACAF’s three sub-regions: North America (3 automatic entrants), Central America (4.5 qualifiers through the Copa Centroamericana) and the Caribbean (4.5 qualifiers through the Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup). 

Contested on 13 previous occasions, defending champion Mexico owns a tournament-record seven titles, followed by the U.S. with five and Canada with one.

The eventual champion will also earn half a ticket to the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Let the games begin!

List of Champions

1991: USA
1993: Mexico
1996: Mexico
1998: Mexico
2000: Canada
2002: USA
2003: Mexico
2005: USA
2007: USA
2009: Mexico
2011: Mexico
2013: USA
2015: Mexico