2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Costa Rica 3
The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be the 11th edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition and 20th CONCACAF regional championship overall. Of the past Championships Mexico has 8 Titles. That is more than double any other country. The USA is next with 4 Championships. It should be notes that the USA has hosted 8 titles games and won ½ of them. To its credit the USA only came onto the soccer map in 1990. Costa Rica has 3 Championships. The last coming in 1989 when there was no host. Many tico fans believe they would have a few more in the Championship was not always hosted in the states. Canada has 2 titles to its credit. The 2000 Gold Cup title won against Columbia and in 1985 when there was no host or tournamnet. Honduras won it’s title in 1981 when it hosted to tournament. Guatemala also won the Championship back in 1967. This was the Golden years for Guatemala. The Los Chapines were runner-up in 1965 and 1969. Haiti is the only Caribbean nation to win the Championship. Los Grenadiers last won in 1973 when they hosted the tournament. There was much controversy surrounding that tournament with the officiating.
The 2011 tournament will have all 3 North American countried automatically qualifying. CONCACAF officials want the tournament to be successful so the 3 biggest populous nations automatically get in. There will be 5 representatives from Central American that also will qualify. They will qualify thought the Central American Cup 2011. The Central American Cup will be hosted in Panama. The 2 non favorites will be Belize and Nicaragua. The other 5 should make the Gold Cup.
That will leave 4 spots open for the Caribbean Region. Presently the Caribbean Cup in going on. The top 4 teams will qualify for the Gold Cup. Jamaica and Cuba have punched their ticket so for. There are 2 remaining spots to fulfill.
There has been no official announcement as to the number of teams invited to the Gold Cup however 12 seems like the correct number. Concacaf officials want the Gold Cup to have full stadiums. Most of the stadiums in the States are over 60,000 or under 30,000. Mexico usually can pack the house however the other nations do not have the following Mexico does.
There were 13 venues last year. Every venue was a double header except the final. Some venues were much more successful that others. I believe the successful venues will again be in place while the low attended stadiums/cities will be passed over for a new location.
The shoe-ins (6)
The big sussess stadiums were Giants Stadium/NY, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, LA and Miami. I believe the 5 stadiums will be shoe in’s for the next Gold Cup.
On the bubble (4)
New England/ Gillette, Seattle, Philly, Washington D.C, Oakland, have been very successful in the past and officials can expect about 20,000 to 25,000 at each venue. Officials would be very happy with this number so I see most of thse venues to host again in 2011.
Looking for last 2 slots
Columbus was a failure with only 7,059 fans in attendance in 2009. I do not see the Gold Cup going back to Columbus. Seattle had the second lowest attendance with 15,387 spectators. Qwaet field even had the host (USA) play there. This number is not good enough. Glendale Arizona did have 23,876 fans however Mexico would sell out at other cities. Arizons gets the boot next year.
The new venues that we could see the Gold Cup appear would be Portland. Portland has a newly refurbished stadium. Portland also will have a new team in MLS next year. This would be a good way to kick off the soccer atmosphere.
I would guess Canada would finally host a Gold Cup group match however Toronto just hosted the MLS Final. I could see Vancouver or Montreal stepping up and hosting a group. Vancouver will also be adding a new team in MLS next year.
Atlanta is also a huge market to test for MLS and the Gold Cup. Atlanta has a brand new stadium on the outskirts of the City in Keenesaw, Ga. The stadium was just complete in May 2010 at a cost of $16.5 Million. The stadium holds 8,318 for a soccer match. This could be a little small however there is always one group that should play in the smaller venues. The stadium has natural grass.
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. The United States will be the host nation; the final will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on June 25, 2011