Photo: The Reggae Boyz will be seeking to make their third Concacaf Gold Cup final in four tournaments at the 2021 staging next year.
Concacaf, on Monday night conducted the first ever Gold Cup draw to set the scene for the 2021 edition of the region’s flagship men’s international competition. The event was hosted by Emmy award winning TUDN sportscaster Lindsay Casinelli and Fox Sports Lead Soccer Analyst and United States Men’s National Team legend Alexi Lalas.
Jamaica has been drawn in Group C along with Costa Rica, Suriname and the Winner of the Preliminary round match 8.
The Reggae Boyz have had very good showings at the regions marquee event in the last three stagings, finishing runners-up in 2015 and 2017 while losing out in the semifinals in 2019.
Interestingly, despite being suspended from football indefinitely by FIFA, Trinidad and Tobago were drawn to play against Monserrat in the preliminary round.
Concacaf President Victor Montagliani, Concacaf’s Director of Development and former Grenada international star Jason Roberts, former Honduras national team star Wilson Palacios and a number of national team head coaches also participated in the made-for-tv live event.
“I know that many communities in our region are going through challenging times and the thoughts of everyone at Concacaf are with them. I hope tonight’s draw provided some anticipation for the fans, a chance to remember great Gold Cup moments of the past and to talk about football with friends and family,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani.
“It was a great event that delivered exciting match-ups to look forward to, both for the Prelims and the Group Stage. I particularly enjoyed seeing the reaction of the head coaches live as it really added to the occasion and set the scene for next year’s tournament.
“We expanded last year’s Gold Cup and it was a huge success in showcasing outstanding football from our region. We want to build on that for the 2021 edition and believe the introduction of the Prelims and an exciting new format for the Knockout Stage will provide a great spectacle next year,” added Montagliani.
The 2021 Gold Cup will begin on July 2, 2021, with a Preliminary Round (Prelims) which will include12 Concacaf Member Associations competing for the final three spots in the 16-team Group Stage. For the two-round Prelims, the participating national teams have been divided into six matchups and will play as follows:
Matchup #1: Haiti vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Matchup #2: Guatemala vs Guyana
Matchup #3: Trinidad and Tobago vs Monserrat
Matchup #4: Cuba vs French Guiana
Matchup #5: Guadeloupe vs Bahamas
Matchup #6: Bermuda vs Barbados
Matchup #7: Winner Matchup #1 vs Winner Matchup #6
Matchup #8: Winner Matchup #2 vs Winner Matchup #5
Matchup #9: Winner Matchup #3 vs Winner Matchup #4
The Group Stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will kick off on July 10, 2021. The 12 Concacaf national teams, which qualified directly through their performances in the Concacaf Nations League group stage, the guest participant, AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar, and the three Prelims winners have been divided into four groups and will play as follows:
Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao and Winner Prelims 9
Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique and Winner Prelims 7
Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8
Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada and Qatar.
The Knockout Stage, to be played among the top two finishers in each group, will for the first time in Gold Cup history see teams on opposite sides of the bracket meet from the quarterfinals onwards. In previous editions, teams have only competed against opponents on the same side of the bracket until the Final. This change will add further unpredictability and excitement to the competition, which was expanded from 12 to 16 teams for a hugely successful 2019 edition.
The knockout stage will be played as follows:
Quarterfinal #1: Winner Group D vs Second Place Group A
Quarterfinal #4: Winner Group B vs Second Place Group C
Quarterfinal #2: Winner Group A vs Second Place Group D
Quarterfinal #3: Winner Group C vs Second Place Group B
Semifinal #1: Winner Quarterfinal #1 vs Winner Quarterfinal #4
Semifinal #2: Winner Quarterfinal #2 vs Winner Quarterfinal #3
Final: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner SF #2
Concacaf will announce venues, kick-off times, schedule, and other details for the 2021 Gold Cup in the coming months.