CONCACAF has expanded the Gold Cup from 12 to 16 teams for the 2019 tournament and will explore hosting matches outside of North America, the confederation announced Monday.
The biennial tournament has featured 12 teams for every event since 2000. Previously held with four groups of three teams, the Gold Cup has been contested with three groups of four teams since 2005.
That format saw the top two teams in each group joined by the top two third-place finishers in the quarterfinals. With 16 teams, only the top two sides in each group will advance to the Gold Cup knockout round in 2019.
CONCACAF also confirmed hopes of establishing a “pan-regional footprint” for the 2019 Gold Cup by playing matches outside of the United States, including potential contests in Central America and the Caribbean.
The U.S. has hosted every Gold Cup since the tournament kicked off in 1991, though Mexico (1993 and 2003) and Canada (2015) have also served as co-hosts.
The U.S. is the defending Gold Cup champion after a 2-1 win over Jamaica in last summer’s final.