The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will take place in the United States, beginning with the Preliminary Stage from July 2 through to the Final on August 1.
The Preliminary Stage will be played in a format that will feature two rounds of competition.
Round One will see 12 participating Member Associations divided into the following six matchups.
- Matchup #1: Haiti vs St Vincent & the Grenadines
- Matchup #2: Guatemala vs Guyana
- Matchup #3: Trinidad and Tobago vs Montserrat
- Matchup #4: Cuba vs French Guiana
- Matchup #5: Guadeloupe vs Bahamas
- Matchup #6: Bermuda vs Barbados
Each winner from each match will then advance to Round Two which will be a single-elimination format of three matchups.
- Matchup #7: Winner Matchup #1 vs Winner Matchup #6
- Matchup #8: Winner Matchup #2 vs Winner Matchup #5
At the end of Round Two, the three winners of the Gold Cup Prelims will advance to the Group Stage.
- Winner Matchup #7: Group B
- Winner Matchup #8: Group C
- Winner Matchup #9: Group A
It must be noted if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the matches will go straight to kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner.
The Group Stage will be played in a format featuring four groups among no more than 16 teams and will include all eligible Concacaf MAs and invited guest Qatar. Matches will be played in a Round Robin format, with each team playing one match against the other in the same group. Awards of three points (win); one point (draw) and zero (defeat) will be assigned.
- Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, Winner P9
- Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique, Winner P7
- Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, Winner P8
- Group D: Hondurus, Panama, Grenada, Qatar
At the end of the tournament, PMAs will be ranked according to:
- Greatest number of points in all matches
- Goal difference in all group matches
- Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above criteria, their ranking shall be determined as follows:
- Greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams
- Greater goal difference in matches between the tied teams (if more than two teams finish on equal points)
- Greater number of goals scored in matches among the tied teams (if more than two teams finish on equal points)
Following the Round Robin play, the top two teams from each group will advance to the Knockout Stage which includes the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final. The eight teams that qualify from the Group Stage will contest the Quarterfinals as follows:
- 1st place in Group D vs 2nd place in Group A = Winner QF #1
- 1st place in Group A vs 2nd place in Group D = Winner QF #2
- 1st place in Group C vs 2nd place in Group B = Winner QF #3
- 1st place in Group B vs 2nd place in Group C = Winner QF #4
The four winners of the Quarterfinals will then contest the Semifinals:
- Winner QF #1 vs Winner QF #4 = SF #1
- Winner QF #2 vs Winner QF #3 = SF #2
The Final will see the Winner of SF #1 vs Winner of SF #2 take the top position.
Please note in the Knockout Stage and the final match, if both teams are tied at the end of regular time, extra time will be played. If the score is tied at the end of extra time, the matches will go straight to kicks from the penalty mark.