The CONCACAF Under-20 Championship is a biennial tournament that determines a champion and the Confederation’s qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.  It provides the perfect platform for those performers on the cusp of transitioning to full international football.

As CONCACAF’s second oldest competition, the Under-20 Championship was launched in 1962 with Panama as host and Mexico capturing the first of its record 13 titles.

The tournament has been contested 24 times under various formats.  From 1962-1974, before the introduction of the FIFA World Youth Championship (eventually becoming known as the FIFA U-20 World Cup), it was a non-World Cup qualifying event.

Since 1976, the competition acted as qualifier for the 1977 FIFA World Youth Championship and has done so ever since.  It has crowned a champion each time it was played with the exception of five occasions from 1998-2007, when the final round was split into two groups of four and was played in two different countries. 

In 2009, the final round reverted back to a competition consisting of two groups contested in a single country to decide a winner.  Two years later, the field was expanded to 12 teams (four groups of three teams each).

Ahead of the 2015 event, in a bid to favor development and competition, the format was modified once again.  The 12 participants were split into two groups of six, increasing the number of guaranteed games for each participant to five, up from two in the previous editions.  The group winners after round-robin play advance to the World Cup.  In order to determine the Confederation’s other two representatives, the second- and third-place nations from each group advance to a pair of single-game playoffs with the winners progressing as well. 

For 2017, the tournament was redesigned to increase the number of meaningful, competitive matches played by each team.  The top two squads from each of the three, four-team groups in the first round will advance to the Classification Stage, which will consist of two groups of three teams each.  The top two sides from each group will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.  The two group winners will also meet in the final.

Teams from Central America and Caribbean qualify for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship through regional tournaments, while Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are automatic entrants from the North Zone.


Hosts, Champions & FIFA U-20 World Cup Qualifiers
(all FIFA U-20 World Cup Qualifying competitions unless indicated otherwise) 


 CONCACAF Under-20 Champions
Year Host Champion
1962 Panama Mexico
1964 Guatemala El Salvador
1970 Cuba Mexico
1973 Mexico Mexico
1974 Canada Mexico
World Cup Qualifiers
1976 Puerto Rico Honduras, Mexico*
1978 Honduras Canada, Mexico*
1980 United States Mexico*, United States
1982 Guatemala Honduras*, Mexico**, United States^
1984 Trinidad and Tobago Canada, Mexico*
1986 Trinidad and Tobago Canada*, United States
1988 Guatemala Costa Rica*, United States^
1990 Guatemala Mexico*, Trinidad and Tobago
1992 Canada Mexico*, United States
1994 Honduras Costa Rica, Honduras*
1996 Mexico Canada*, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States
1998 Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, United States
2001 Canada, Trinidad and Tobago Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, United States
2002 Panama, United States Canada, Mexico, Panama, United States
2005 Honduras, United States Canada, Honduras, Panama, United States
2007 Mexico, Panama Canada**, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, United States
2009 Trinidad and Tobago Costa Rica*, United States, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago
2011 Guatemala Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico*, Panama
2013 Mexico Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico*, United States
2015 Jamaica Honduras, Mexico*, Panama, United States

* Champion
** As FIFA U-20 World Cup host, did not participate in CONCACAF Under-20 Championship.
^ United States progressed to FIFA U-20 World Cup following the disqualification of Honduras and Mexico in CONCACAF Under-20 Championships of 1982 and 1988, respectively.