Costa Rica will become the first Central American nation to host Concacaf Gold Cup matches in the 2019 tournament, the federation announced on Monday, with a pair of Group B games slated for San Jose's Estadio Nacional on June 16.
The Costa Rica national team will be among the four sides in Group B, and therefore will play in front of its home fans as the event expands to 16 teams for the first time. That will be welcome news for at least a handful of Ticos players who make their home in MLS. Six MLS contributors were a part of Costa Rica's 2018 World Cup squad.
The venues are now set for all but two Gold Cup matches. The opening two games in Group C will be hosted at a Caribbean venue yet to be determined.
The tournament has been held primarily in the US recent years, but there is a history of matches being held elsewhere. During the 2015 tournament, Toronto FC's BMO field played host to a group doubleheader. In earlier years, Mexico and the United States at times co-hosted the event.
Play in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup begins in Group A on June 15, with the final slated for Chicago on July 7.