If a random rumor is to be believed, the 2025 Gold Cup is going to be massive. According to a report by Mexican news outlet Diario Récord, the United States, Mexico, and Canada, alongside Concacaf, are negotiating to have the 2025 Gold Cup expand to include 24 teams.
The 24-team tournament would include 16 national teams from Concacaf, and it would also include two teams each from Conmebol (South America), UEFA (Europe), AFC (Asia), and CAF (Africa). The 2025 Gold Cup would be played at each of the 16 World Cup host venues as a test run for the 2026 World Cup.
Concacaf is helping the three nations to get this huge tournament approved and off the ground, similar to a Confederations Cup with more teams. The idea is that teams from each confederation that have already qualified for the 2026 World Cup at that point would jump at the chance to come to North America to test out the logistics and get a feel for what it would be like to play there the following summer in the World Cup. They would also get to experience the summer weather in some of these cities.
Of course, it would require buy in from each of the confederations along with FIFA, which is slated to have its World Cup playoff in Summer 2025 as well. That would also require FIFA to add the tournament to its calendar so that national teams would be able to call in their A lineups, with clubs being required to release players for the tournament. Africa is planning to host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations during the summer months as well, so this would require some schedule tweaks as well.
For the USMNT, this would be yet another opportunity to fill the calendar with competitive matches against top opponents should they co-host the 2025 Gold Cup with this expanded format. Having some of the top teams from Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa as potential opponents should excite everyone who wants to see the USMNT play quality competition between now and 2026. All we can do is wait and see if this report has any legs and Concacaf works to up the prestige of the Gold Cup through expansion.
Hit the comments to discuss this idea for the 2025 Gold Cup.