Costa Rica celebrates after winning the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
SAN LUIS TALPA, El Salvador – The Union of Central American Football (UNCAF) revealed Wednesday that the next UNCAF Copa Centroamericana – the Central American championship for national teams that also doubles as the region’s qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup – will be played in the United States. The dates being contemplated are September 1-13, 2014.
This would mark the first time that the event will be held outside of Central America.
The historic decision was made unanimously during a meeting of the organization’s Executive Committee in El Salvador today.
Iconic destinations such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston and Washington D.C., where the UNCAF teams enjoy large fan support will be in the running as potential host cities. Final announcements on host cities, stadiums, format, match schedule and groupings are expected in the near future once UNCAF has completed its site evaluations.
The tournament, which has usually been held in the same year as the Gold Cup, is being moved up in the calendar to correspond as closely as possible to FIFA international dates. This should allow many of Central America’s biggest names to participate more fully.
The UNCAF Copa Centroamericana has been played on 12 previous occasions with each Central American nation, except Belize, holding the region’s showpiece event at least once.
Costa Rica hosted and won the last edition of the competition in 2013 for a record seventh time.
The top five finishers will qualify for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
UNCAF COPA CENTROAMERICANA
Hosts & Champions (champions in parentheses)
1991: Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
1993: Honduras (Honduras)
1995: El Salvador (Honduras)
1997: Guatemala (Costa Rica)
1999: Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
2001: Honduras (Guatemala)
2003: Panama (Costa Rica)
2005: Guatemala (Costa Rica)
2007: El Salvador (Costa Rica)
2009: Honduras (Panama)
2011: Panama (Honduras)
2013: Costa Rica (Costa Rica)