Gold Cup Warm-up

Only 3 days after the Copa America final and with only 1 day of “rest” after the Women’s World Cup the 2015 Gold Cup is set to kick off. Panama and Haiti will open the tournament in the Toyota stadium in Frisco, Texas on Tuesday (July 7th). Later that night the US will play Honduras (with history in the making!) on the same pitch. Here’s a preview in numbers:

Gold Cup groups
2015 Gold Cup groups

12 participants There are twelve teams participating in the upcoming edition. Here is the all-time ranking with the 12 participants of 2015 highlighted:

All-time Gold Cup ranking
All-time Gold Cup ranking

13 tournaments in a row The United States (who have always hosted the tournament) and Mexico are the only teams to have participated in all 12 editions so far. Costa Rica and Honduras (11) and Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago (8) are most time participantes for their respective football unions (Central American Football Union and Caribbean Football Union). Costa Rica is the only team with 11 consecutive participations

50% for Mexico Although the US is leading the all-time ranking Mexico is the team with most Copa America titles. They’ve won 6 of the 12 trophies since the tournament was rebranded in 1991 to CONCACAF Gold Cup. Team USA won the title 5 times and Canada once. This means that, not so surprisingly, all cups are shared among the 3 members of the North American Football Union (NAFU).

5 consecutive finals Team USA made it to the final in the last 5 editions, a record streak for the Gold Cup. With 4 lost finals (ALL against Mexico: 1993, 1998, 2009 and 2011) the US is “the Argentina” of the CONCACAF.

7 “other” finalists Besides the 3 NAFU members 7 other teams made it to the Gold Cup final. Four of those finalists come from Central America (CAFU: 2x Panama, Honduras and Costa Rica) and 3 were invites from the CONMEBOL (2x Brazil, Colombia).

6 perfect editions Mexico is the only team in history to finish a Gold Cup without having received a single goal. They even did that twice: 1996 and 2003 (winning both tournaments). In the first edition (1993) of the Cup Mexico set the record for most goals scored: 28 goals in 5 games (1/3 of those goals came against Martinique as we’ll see later).  Both Mexico (2011) and the USA (2007 and 2013) won a title with 6 straight victories.

3 to beat No national team has recorded victories against all past winners (Mexico, United States and Canada). Honduras is “very” close as they only miss a win against the USA, whom they will play in the group phase of the 2015 edition. Panama, the only team to have beaten both Mexico and the USA, would have to hope for a QF clash with Canada.

14th best of the world Having had a great World Cup in 2014 Costa Rica now is the best-ranked team participating in the Gold Cup: they are 14th on the current FIFA ranking.

7 foreign managers More than half of the 12 managers at the Gold Cup are not from the CONCACAF region (2 Colombians, 2 Germans, 2 Spaniards, 1 Argentine). 5 of the 12 previous editions were won by a team with a “foreigner” as manager. The latest example is Klinsmann with the USA in 2013. Winning this year’s title would make him the first head coach in history to win the title in consecutive editions.

-49 goals 2015 contenders Cubs are the team with the worst goal difference in history. 21 of the 66 goals that they have received were scored by Costa Rica (and 4 from current Costa Rica manager Paulo Wanchope). In the group phase they will play Mexico, the team with most goal in Gold Cup history.

250 Guatemala – Trinidad will be the 250th game in Gold Cup history.

6 consecutive victories Team USA have won their last 6 games in the Gold Cup. They’d need 7 more to beat Mexico’s record streak of 12 wins (1996 – 2000)


4 records for Donovan Landon Donovan is the all-time top scorer of the Gold Cup. He scored a total of 18 goals (record #1), which he divided over 13 games (record #2) and  6 tournaments (record #3). 5 of those 18 goals came from the penalty spot (record #4).

All-time Gold Cup top scorers
All-time Gold Cup top scorers

13 hat-tricks Donovan and 12 other players managed to score 3 or more goals in one game, but there is no player in Gold Cup history that has score 2 or more hat-tricks. The fastest hat-trick in was scored by McBride in 2002. He scored 3 goals within 12 minutes (9′, 11′ and 21′). No player managed to score over 2 goals against one of the NAFU -teams (USA, Mexico, Canada). Ariel Martinés Gonzáles (Cuba!) is the last player to score 3 goals in a game (2013 vs Belize). Ruiz is the only player who did not win (he lost!) the game despite scoring a hat-trick (Guatemala – Jamaica 3-4 in 2005).

7 goals in 1 game, 11 in the tournament In 1993 Zaguinho (Mexican with Brazilian parents) scored no less than 7 against poor Martinique (9-0). He became top scorer of that edition with 11 goals. Both marks are records for the Gold Cup. He also is the only player in the tournament history to score 4 goals in one half. That game still is the biggest score in the tournament’s history.

8 double goal scorers That day, “Zague” also became the first player in football history to score goals in two different continental tournaments in the same year. He did not own the record for that much time though; 29 minutes later his team mate Ramón Ramírez did the same: only 10 days after having scored in the Copa America he also added one in the Gold Cup. There are now 8 players in total who scored in a single year in both the CONMEBOL and CONCACAF tournaments. There won’t be any players is this year’s edition to add to that list.

Note: all data comes from DataFactory


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