Soccer just received a major boost on International Women’s Day.
Concacaf on Wednesday announced the first ever Women’s Gold Cup will be held in 2024, with the U.S. as the host nation.
It’ll be the next premier international women’s soccer tournament following the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.
It’s a massive step forward for women’s soccer, giving more nations an opportunity to hoist and add a trophy to their respective cabinets. Here’s everything to know about the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup:
What is the Concacaf W Gold Cup?
The Concacaf Gold Cup on the men’s side is a biannual soccer tournament between nations in the soccer governing body, which comprises North and Central American nations and Caribbean nations. The women’s edition will follow a similar suit.
Teams compete in group stage and knockout-round football until a winning nation is crowned in the final, similar to how the World Cup operates, except it's only for a specific region in the globe.
When is the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup?
The United States-based 2024 tournament will be held from Saturday, Feb. 17 to Sunday, March 10.
How many teams will be in the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup?
There will be 12 teams total spread out across three groups: eight from Concacaf and four CONMEBOL guest teams, the South American governing body.
The U.S. secured a berth by winning the 2022 Concacaf W Championship, while the winner of Canada-Jamaica in the Concacaf Olympic play-in game will pen its name to the list. The remaining six teams will follow a qualifying process at a later date, but this is how it’ll pan out:
- 2022 Concacaf W Championship champion (United States)
- Concacaf Olympic Play-In winner (Canada OR Jamaica)
- Road to Concacaf W Gold Cup League A Group winners (three teams)
- Concacaf W Gold Cup Prelims winners (three teams)
The four CONMEBOL teams were determined based on the 2022 Women’s Copa América finalists: Brazil (winner), Colombia (runner-up), Argentina (bronze) and Paraguay (fourth).
The Road to Concacaf W Gold Cup play – the third bullet – will run from FIFA-recognized international breaks this September, October and November. There will be 33 Concacaf teams sorted into three leagues – League A, B and C – based on their placements in the March 2023 version of Concacaf’s Women’s Ranking. Here’s how those teams will be sorted:
- League A: Nine top-ranked teams divided into three groups of three teams
- League B: Next 12 best-ranked teams divided into three groups of four teams
- League C: Lowest-ranked 12 teams divided into three groups of four teams
From there, the three group winners in League A will punch its ticket to the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. The three second-place finishers in League A and the three first-place finishers in League B (six in total) will advance to the aforementioned preliminary rounds.
What is the format of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup?
The format of the Gold Cup will follow usual international tournament processes, but the action will start with the preliminary rounds on Saturday, Feb. 17. Six teams will compete for the last three spots in single-elimination format, as aforementioned, with those matchups being decided via their respective placements in the Dec. 2023 version of Concacaf’s Women’s Rankings.
- Highest-ranked team vs. lowest-ranked
- Second-ranked vs. fifth-ranked
- Third-ranked vs. fourth-ranked
After those are determined, the round-robin style group stage will commence from Tuesday, Feb. 20 to Wednesday, Feb. 28, with each team playing a total of three games to accumulate the most points possible to advance to the next round.
Then the three group winners and runner-ups (six teams) and the two best third-place teams will advance to the eight-team quarterfinals that will start knockout round play, which will run from Saturday, March 2 to the final on Sunday, March 10.