The United States, Mexico and Canada are looking to prepare themselves in the best ways possible ahead of their hosting of the 2026 World Cup and Concacaf is reportedly willing to do anything to get their teams get as much competitive sparring as they can.
Even if it means turning their biennial Gold Cup tournament into a mini-World Cup.
2025 Gold Cup to be a 24-team tournament with teams from UEFA and CONMEBOL
According to David Medrano, Mexican journalist for TV Azteca and Record, the World Cup hosts have proposed and are pushing for the 2025 Gold Cup to go from a 16-team tournament to a 24-team tournament with the eight remaining spots filled with top teams from about every confederation in the world.
The tournament would be played in all three countries and serve as a mini-World Cup that would test out all the 16 designated venues to be used in 2026. Concacaf is said to be on board and working on figuring out which countries to invite.
Concacaf officials are hoping to hold an expanded 2025 Gold Cup that includes two teams from each of UEFA, Asia, Africa and South America. Tournament would be held in the same 16 stadiums hosting World Cup games. https://t.co/SWQMk6wIxe— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) February 3, 2023
2025 Gold Cup format:- 16 CONCACAF teams
- 2 UEFA teams
- 2 AFC teams
- 2 CAF teams
- 2 CONMEBOL teams
Games will be played in all 16 #FIFAWorldCup 2026 stadiums ️
A mini World Cup if you will pic.twitter.com/vHitVAfYuV
— Javier Perez (@offjavi) February 3, 2023
The Super Gold Cup.
At this time, there’s really no other source besides Medrano’s that confirms this rumor. Yet, an important, but overlooked statement made by the FMF’s (Federación Mexicana de Fútbol) president earliest this week may have just tied this rumor all together.
In the Mexican Soccer Federation’s press conference last Monday, where they outlined their plans and restructuring ahead of 2026, federation president Yon De Luisa stated that the federation is looking to organize games against top-level opponents. This confirmed the rumor of Mexico and the USMNT facing off against Germany later this year and hinted at the possibility of a tournament in 2025 that would “most likely” serve as a test-run for World Cup venues.
“An event of great level in North America [in 2025], organized by Concacaf, with FIFA, which would most likely help to test the World Cup venues,” said De Luisa.
If this event comes to fruition, the hosts would be playing in official games against teams from CONMEBOL in the Copa America and against teams from all over the world in the “Super Gold Cup,” the two summers prior to the start of their hosting of the 2026 World Cup.