It will be a busy summer in the Concacaf region, including for teams competing in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup preliminaries. The first time a preliminary round of matches will be used to determine the remaining places. in a group stage of the Gold Cup.
The preliminaries will be in a knockout format and will take place in Miami, Florida, from July 2-6, with 12 nations competing for the three available spots in the 2021 Gold Cup group stage.
Based on their performances in the 2019-2020 Concacaf Nations League, the following 12 teams will compete in the Gold Cup preliminaries: Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Bahamas, Barbados, Guadeloupe and Guatemala qualified for the preliminaries as League C group winners; French Guiana, Guyana, Montserrat, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines qualified as the second-place teams from their respective groups in League B, while Bermuda, Cuba, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago qualified as third in League A.
The knockout format of the preliminary round will allow three teams to qualify for the group stage of the 16-team Gold Cup, where they will join the 12 already qualified: Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica , Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Suriname and the United States.
The first Gold Cup draw produced some very interesting matchups in the preliminaries, including Saint Vincent and the Grenadines facing Haiti, which reached the semi-finals in 2019.
Another match that should offer a lot of intrigue is Guatemala against Guyana. The chapines have not competed in a Gold Cup since 2015 and they know that a tough rival awaits them in the Golden Jaguars, which debuted in the 2019 edition.
One of the revelations at Concacaf in recent years has been Montserrat, who came close to qualifying for the 2019 Gold Cup and is now targeting Trinidad and Tobago in their clash in the preliminaries.
Back in search of qualifying for the Gold Cup for the first time since the 2017 group stage is French Guiana, that will face a Cuban team that will have European players in the preliminaries.
Game 5 will see Guadeloupe and Bahamas fight Guadeloupe coach Jocelyn Angloma, who led Les Try Boys to the semifinals of the 2007 Gold Cup as a player, guiding his team against a rival like the Bahamas seeking their first qualification.
Completing the first round of the preliminaries is an interesting competition between Bermuda and Barbados. Bermuda not only competed in its first Gold Cup in 2019, but it also won its first match in the competition when it defeated Nicaragua. Meanwhile, Barbados will seek the first qualification for the group stage.
First round matches
- Haiti-Saint Vincent vs. the grenadines
- Guatemala vs. Guyana
- Trinidad and Tobago vs. Montserrat
- Cuba vs. French Guiana
- Guadalupe vs. Bahamas
- Bermuda vs. Barbados
MATCHES OF THE SECOND ROUND
The winners qualify for the group stage:
- Winner of Haiti-Saint Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Bermuda-Barbados Winner
- Winner Guatemala-Guyana vs. Guadeloupe-Bahamas winner
- Winner Trinidad and Tobago-Montserrat vs. winner Cuba-French Guiana.