The 2015 Gold Cup is not until July of next year but World Soccer Shop is gearing up to make this the best tournament in history. The planning for major tournaments starts well over a year in advance and World Soccer Shop was in Miami at the CONCACAF headquarters this week and wanted to give our customers a quick tour.
The Gold Cup has traditionally been a battle for bragging rights between Mexico and the United States. The 2 regional powers have combined to win 11 of the 12 tournaments since 1991. The lone exception came in 2000 when Canada defeated guest side Colombia. Surprisingly, the Stars and Stripes and El Tri Colores failed to advance past the quarterfinals that year.
The U.S. won the title in 2013 and for the first time hoisted the new Gold Cup Trophy. The trophy only included subtle changes from the original with the most notable ones being the tiered base to allow for the champions names to be engraved on the trophy and the engraved words ‘Gold Cup’ and ‘Copa Oro’ around the rim of the cup.
Needless to say the trophy has a place of special importance at the CONCACAF offices.
The most prestigious club competition in the region is the CONCACAF Champions League, formerly known as the Champions’ Cup.
We were not in town, however, to check out the silverware in the CONCACAF collection. The reason for our visit with the heads of CONCACAF, like most of the people who travel from around the region to Miami, were for meetings which took us Federations Meeting Room.
It may look a little plan but walking in you can feel the importance as this is the room where the business of the region takes place. The room is set up to allow for multi-lingual conversations with the goal of making CONCACAF a top soccer region.
It is hard to argue that the work being done is not successful. 3 of the 4 CONCACAF teams, the USA, Mexico, and Costa Rica, advanced from the 2014 World Cup Group Stage. The Ticos advanced to the quarterfinals and were only sent home by the eventual third place finisher, the Netherlands, after penalty kicks.
But the focus is always on the future and after our meetings it is easy to say this will be the best Gold Cup in history.
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