• Monday Dec 19, 2016

    2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup: Who’s in?

    Mexico's Andres Guardado (pictured) was the Golden Ball winner at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: Victor Straffon/Straffon Images)

    MIAMI – The 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup doesn’t kick-off until July 7, but there has been plenty of tournament-related action.

    Teams from each of CONCACAF’s three sub-regions qualify in different ways to fill the 12 available places. Here are the qualification methods:

    NORTH AMERICA (3 berths)
    - Canada, Mexico and the United States are automatic North American entrants.

    CARIBBEAN (4.5 berths)
    - The four 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinalists – Curacao, French Guiana, Jamaica and Martinique -- earn direct berths to the event. The three best second-place finishers from the third round of Caribbean Cup play -- Haiti, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago – will compete against each other in January 4-8, 2017, with the winner facing the fifth-place team from the Copa Centroamericana to determine the last Gold Cup qualifier.

    CENTRAL AMERICA (4.5 berths)
    - The top four finishers in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana will book Gold Cup tickets, while the fifth-place team will face either Haiti, Suriname or Trinidad & Tobago in a two-match qualifying playoff for the last Gold Cup berth.

    Of the seven already-known participants, Curacao and French Guiana will become the 25th and 26th to make their Gold Cup debuts.

    CONCACAF.com takes a look at the look at each of the current Gold Cup contenders: 

    CANADA
    Qualification: automatic North American entrant
    Previous Appearances (last app): 12 (2015)
    Best Finish: Champion-1 (2000)
    Record: 15W-11D-15L (43GF, 53GA)

    Other than the United States and Mexico, it is the only country to win the continental competition, taking home the trophy with a 2-0 win over Colombia in the 2000 final. That year, the Maple Leafs reached the knockout round via a coin-toss tiebreaker with Korea Republic and stunned then three-time defending champion Mexico in the quarterfinals (2-1).

    More recently, however, the Canadians haven’t won in seven Gold Cup matches. They last tasted victory in the competition on June 11, 2011, as Dwayne De Rosario netted the lone goal from the penalty spot in a 1-0 win over Guadeloupe. 

    CURACAO

    Qualification: Semifinalist, 2016/17 Caribbean Cup
    Previous Appearances: none
    Best Finish first-ever appearance
    Record: 0W-0D-0L (0GF, 0GA)

    Curacao sealed its first-ever trip to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, when it rallied for a 4-2 win over host Puerto Rico on October 11, 2016, to finish atop the Group 3 table in the third round of the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup.

    The Curacaoans have posted an overall Caribbean Cup record of 5W-0D-1L. Since dropping a 1-0 decision to Barbados in the tournament opener, they have scored 21 goals in reeling off five straight wins. 

    FRENCH GUIANA
    Qualification: Semifinalist, 2016/17 Caribbean Cup
    Previous Appearances: none
    Best Finish: first-ever appearance
    Record: 0W-0D-0L (0GF, 0GA)

    French Guiana sealed a first-ever Gold Cup place by advancing to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinals. Through the third round of play, it has posted an overall record of 4W-0D-2L, scoring at least one goal in each game.

    The French Guianese fell agonizingly short of qualifying for the 2015 Gold Cup, defeating visiting Honduras, 3-1, in the first leg of a playoff for the last berth. When the sides met again four days later in San Pedro Sula, the host Catrachos roared to a 3-0 win and progressed 4-3 on aggregate.

    JAMAICA

    Qualification: Semifinalist, 2016/17 Caribbean Cup
    Previous Appearances (last app): 9 (2015)
    Best Finish: Runner-up-1 (2015)
    Record: 13W-5D-17L (40GF, 55GA)

    Jamaica pulled off one of the biggest surprises in Gold Cup history, when it reached the 2015 final, ultimately falling to Mexico, 3-1. Along the way, the Reggae Boyz drew 2-2 with 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinalist Costa Rica and beat the United States, 2-1, in the semifinals.

    In order to reach the 2017 Gold Cup, Jamaica captured the top spot in its 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup, third-round group, posting a 2W-0D-0L record, with wins over Guyana (4-2) and Suriname (1-0).


    MARTINIQUE

    Qualification: Semifinalist, 2016/17 Caribbean Cup

    Previous Appearances (last app): 4 (2013)

    Best Finish: Quarterfinals-1 (2002)

    Record: 2W-2D-7L (7GF, 24GA)

    Thanks to reaching the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinals, Martinique will be making its fifth appearance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Its debut came in 1993, when it registered an historic 2-2 draw with Canada on goals by Georges Gertrude and Thierry Fondelot.

    Through the third round of the current Caribbean Cup, Martinique is a perfect 6W-0D-0L, scoring 17 goals and conceding only two. Twelve players have gotten their names on the scoresheet, with Steeven Langil (4 goals), Yoann Arquin (2) and Kevin Parsemain (2) combining for eight goals.


    MEXICO

    Qualification: automatic North American entrant
    Previous Appearances (last app): 13 (2015)
    Best Finish: Champion-7 (1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011, 2015)
    Record: 45W-9D-8L (149GF, 39GA)

    Mexico is one of only two teams to participate in every Gold Cup, with the United States being the other. It has competed in eight of the 13 all-time finals, lifting the trophy in 2015 for a record-extending seventh title.

    The Tricolor is the only team to win three consecutive titles (1993, 1996, 1998) and it also captured two straight once (2009, 2011).

    Head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is in charge of a squad that contains three past Gold Cup MVPs -- Giovani Dos Santos (2009), Javier Hernandez (2011) and Andres Guardado (2015).

    USA
    Qualification: automatic North American entrant
    Previous Appearances (last app): 13 (2015)
    Best Finish: Champion-5 (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013)
    Record: 51W-8D-8L (134GF, 49GA)

    Only Mexico has enjoyed more success in the Gold Cup than the United States. The Americans have captured five titles -- two less than their rival to the south.

    After head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. parted ways in November 2016, Bruce Arena was tabbed as his replacement. It’s a second spell in charge for Arena, who previously led the side to two Gold Cup titles (2002, 2005) and an historic quarterfinal finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

    The U.S. owns the record for most wins in Gold Cup history (51).

     

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