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The Concacaf Gold Cup is becoming a second-rate competition for the U.S. and it’s a shame

For the second time in a row the United States men’s national team will be playing in the Concacaf Nations League final four and the Gold Cup during the same summer. Similar to 2021, the USMNT will send the A-team to the Nations League and the B-team to the Gold Cup.

Just look at the difference in the rosters.

There are pros and cons to this approach. On the one hand, it gives fringe players a chance to compete in a real international competition while the big names play in the Nations League. However, it also diminishes the importance and spectacle of the Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup has some iconic moments in Concacaf history. Think of Benny Feilhaber’s late winner in front of 60,000 at Soldier Field in the 2007 final or Giovani Dos Santos’ magical goal in the 2011 edition.

Core moments like this just won’t feel the same when the best of the best for the USMNT aren’t playing.

Mexico isn’t using the same approach as the U.S. and announced one roster for both tournaments this summer.

My question is: can we find a way to not have these two tournaments overlap? The USMNT have two friendlies scheduled in October against Germany and Ghana. Would it have been possible to have played the two Nations League games in the fall rather than a week before the Gold Cup starts?

There’s also an international break in September that could have been an option.

Perhaps I’m just not with the times and need to leave the Gold Cup memories in the past, but I’d hate for this to become the new norm.

On the bright side, we won’t see next year’s Nations League be scheduled at the same time as the 2024 Copa América. The 2024 tournament, featuring teams from both Americas, will be held in the U.S. and have six Concacaf teams. The 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League finals will be in March while the Copa América tournament goes from June through July.

The details for the 2024-25 Concacaf Nations League aren’t known yet, but I will be keeping my fingers crossed that the finals won’t be at the same time as the 2025 Gold Cup. There are rumors that the 2025 Gold Cup could expand to 24 teams and act as a test run for the 2026 World Cup.

All I ask is that 2023 is the last time we see a USMNT B-team at the Gold Cup.

USMNT Gold Cup schedule 2023

Group Stage

June 24: USA vs. Jamaica 

June 28: USA vs. TBD

July 2: USA vs. Trinidad annd Tobago


*July 9: USA vs. Group D winner/runner-up (most likely Canada or Guatemala)


*July 12


*July 16

*If USA advances

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