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Everything you need to know about the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup draw: when is it? how does it work?

The USMNT and Mexico face off in the CONCACAF Nations League and will also be favourites to lift the 2023 Gold Cup.

Concacaf announces venues and stadiums for the 2023 Gold Cup
Adrian MaciasMEXSPORT

The 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup will take place from 24 June until 16 July 2023 at venues across the United States that have yet to be decided, although we do know that the final will place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The USMNT and Mexico have been drawn to face each other in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League and will also expect to meet in the latter stages of the Gold Cup a few weeks later.

When is the draw for the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup?

The draw for the tournament will also be held there and on Thursday CONCACAF revealed details of how it would be conducted and when it would take place. The draw for the upcoming Gold Cup will start at 3:00 p.m. ET on April 14, with CONCAFAF president and FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani overseeing the event, which will, of course, be attended by head coaches of the competing national deals.

Which countries have qualified for the Gold Cup?

The 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League, whose group stage came to a conclusion this week, was used as qualification for the Gold Cup and has provided 12 of the 16 participants:

  • League A group winners: Canada, Mexico, Panama, and United States
  • League A runners-up: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Jamaica
  • League B group winners: Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, and Nicaragua

2022 World Cup hosts Qatar have been invited to take part in the competition, which takes the number up to 13.

Gold Cup prelims to decide the final three spots: who plays and when are they?

The three remaining places will be decided by the 2023 Gold Cup prelims, which are scheduled to take place after the draw for the main tournament has been made. Round One of the prelims will be played on 16 and 17 June, with Round Two following on 20 June, just four days before the main tournament begins.

The following 12 teams have qualified for the Gold Cup prelims:

  • League A third-place finishers: Curaçao, Grenada, Martinique, and Suriname
  • League B second-place finishers: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago
  • League C group winners: Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Sint Maarten

The 12 teams have been split into six seeded teams and six unseeded teams based on the CONCACAF Men’s National Team Rankings as of 31 March. Seeded teams will take on unseeded teams in Round One, with the six winners splitting into three ‘finals’ in Round Two, with three winners advancing to the tournament proper.

How does the draw for the Gold Cup work?

As for the Gold Cup draw itself, the 16 participating teams will be divided into four pots, again based on those CONCACAF Men’s National Team Rankings:

  • Pot 1 (Four highest-ranked teams): Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, and Canada.
  • Pot 2 (Four next best-ranked teams): Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, and Guatemala.
  • Pot 3 (Four lowest-ranked teams): Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, and Nicaragua
  • Pot 4: The three winners from the Gold Cup prelims, plus Qatar

Gold Cup groups

The teams in Pot 1 have already been placed into Groups A, B, C and D.

  • Group A: United States (current champions)
  • Group B: Mexico (highest-ranked team)
  • Group C: Costa Rica (next highest-ranked seeded team)
  • Group D: Canada (lowest-ranked seeded team)

The teams in Pot 2 will them be drawn into one of the four groups one by one. The same process will follow for teams from Pot 3 and then Pot 4.

The tournament will begin with four groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout rounds, which will start at the quarter-final stage.


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