Concacaf Gold Cup
The CONCACAF was created in 1961 after the Confederación Centroamericana y del Caribe de Fútbol (CCCF) and the North American Football Confederation (NAFC) were combined. It wasn’t however until 1963 that the CONCACAF Championship was born. El Salvador was picked as the first host nation of the competition that included nine teams. The national soccer team of Costa Rica finished as the eventual winners while the hosts came in second position. The tournament went on more or less along the same lines till 1990 before the format and the name were changed to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The tournament has a long history of inviting countries that are not part of the CONCACAF to take part in the Gold Cup as well. This started with an invitation to Brazil for the 1996 edition and has carried on ever since. The tournament has also featured Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa and South Korea. Brazil has enjoyed the most success out of all the visiting teams, coming in second twice and third once.
The Gold Cup has been hosted by the USA throughout its tenure to date since the switch was made to its current format. However they have shared the responsibilities twice as well. Mexico co-hosted the tournament in 2003 and Canada is slated to do the same in 2015.
The USA was the first team to host the competition in its current form and went on to win the title as well by beating Honduras in the final. Since then, the CONCACAF Gold Cup has been held twelve times to date, with its thirteenth edition about to come up soon. Mexico and the USA have been the most dominant teams in the competition’s history and share most of the titles between them. Mexico has won the Gold Cup a record six times, followed closely by the U.S with five. Canada is the only other country that has managed to win the Gold Cup, when they beat Colombia in 2000 to lift their first and only title to date.
The Gold Cup is now coming back with arguably its biggest edition in history. The games will be played in some of the most famous stadiums in the region and fans are buying CONCACAF Gold Cup tickets in big numbers. The best in the business are square off for what should be another pulsating tournament with plenty of thrills and spills.