The Gold Cup has always been about CONCACAF bragging rights.
But the 2015 edition that will be held in the United States and Canada will carry a bit more meaning.
Not only will this year’s tournament help determine the qualifiers for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia (any non-US winner will play off against the US as 2013 Gold Cup champions), but it will also serve as the qualifying tournament for the two remaining CONCACAF spots in the 2016 Copa América Centenario, which will also be held in the USA.
The regional championship of South America, known as the Copa América, will be held in the US for the first time as a unique way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the tournament. CONMEBOL has therefore expanded the field from the usual 10 teams (all CONMEBOL members) to 16, with six CONCACAF entrants.
Here’s how CONCACAF qualifying for the Copa América Centenario works:
The United States and Mexico both received automatic invites. Costa Rica earned a berth due to their 2014 Copa Centroamericana championship, as did Jamaica for their 2014 Caribbean Cup title.
The remaining two spots will go to highest finishing teams from the Gold Cup that have not already qualified.
16 QUALIFIERS TO 2016 COPA AMERICA:
- CONMEBOL NATIONS (10): Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
- AUTOMATIC CONCACAF BERTHS (2): Mexico, United States
- COPA CENTROAMERICANA CHAMPION (1): Costa Rica (in 2014)
- CARIBBEAN CUP CHAMPION (1): Jamaica (2014)
- HIGHEST FINISHERS IN 2015 GOLD CUP (2): Two of following nations -- Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago