Forget rosters stocked with fringe players, the big boys saved for the edition that determines Confederations Cup placement. Every Gold Cup is on equal footing from here on out.
CONCACAF announced on Friday that the champions of the 2013 Gold Cup will qualify for a playoff match to decide which national team will represent the region in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. The champions of the 2015 Gold Cup will become the second team to qualify for the single-game playoff, scheduled to take place in the second half of that same year at a site to be determined.
"This novel CONCACAF Gold Cup playoff format for the FIFA Confederations Cup is an essential and perhaps long due adjustment required to enhance the crown jewel of national team competitions within our confederation," CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said in a statement. "This innovative resolution will allow the champion of every single Gold Cup edition to have the same competitive opportunity to represent CONCACAF at the international level."
The new CONCACAF qualifying process, approved by the Confederation's Executive Committee, assures that both editions of the Gold Cup in each four-year cycle have the same importance from a competitive perspective.
In the case that the same nation emerges victorious at both the 2013 and 2015 editions of the Gold Cup, that team will qualify directly to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.