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As was expected, the Gold Cup will return to the United States in 2013.
The United States has hosted (or co-hosted on two accounts) all 11 previous CONCACAF Gold Cups and they will once again serve as hosts for the 12th edition, to be played in 2013. CONCACAF made the U.S. the official host of the tournament on Monday, not that the announcement surprised anyone.
Mexico co-hosted with the U.S. in 1993 and 2003, but they have not been a serious consideration to host or even co-host since. There has been talk about Canada hosting or co-hosting with the U.S., but there are only a handful of suitable stadiums north of the border and the Canadian Soccer Association hardly inspires confidence in anyone.
In the end, though, it all comes down to money. With the number of Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, etc. in the U.S. there is a crowd for most teams. More than 617,000 fans attended the tournament in 2011 for an average of over 47,000, which filled the stadiums to 80% capacity.
Tack on the sponsorship revenue that goes along with a tournament in the U.S. and the decision to keep the tournament is a no brainer.
Mexico won the 2011 Gold Cup at the Rose Bowl in front of a crowd that was so pro-El Tri that the stadium in Pasadena, CA was dubbed Estadio Azteca Norte. That is the norm whenever Mexico plays a Gold Cup match in the U.S. and will likely be the case again next year.
Whether Mexico tries to seriously defend their title in 2013 is still up in the air. They will play in the Confederations Cup next summer as well and could do what the U.S. did in 2009. Mexico could send their best team to the Confederations Cup, while the second, third and even fourth choice players get a chance in the Gold Cup, throwing a wet blanket over the tournament.
El Tri lead all countries with six Gold Cup titles, while the U.S. has captured four. Canada is the only team to break the monopoly of the big two, having won the tournament in 2000.