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A Brief History of the CONCACAF Gold Cup

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Our Timmy is involved, but what do we actually know about the tournament?

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As you no doubt already know, Bolton Wanderers very own Tim Ream has been called up by the United States National side for the upcoming 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

With that in mind, your mates at Lion of Vienna Suite have taken it upon themselves to educate your minds (copyright Richard AJ Keys) about this historic tournament, and we will be following it closely over the course of the competition.

This 2015 edition will be the 13th time that the tournament has been held in CONCACAF's 50 year history. What or who is CONCACAF, I hear you say - well, it stands for Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. So now you know.

Held every two years, this most recent tournament kicks off on 7th July, running through til the 26th. The twelve teams taking part include the United States, their near-neighbours Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Jamaica, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, Cuba and Honduras.

Three final slots were allocated to North America, four to Central America, and four to the Caribbean. For the first time, the two overall fifth-placed teams of the Caribbean zone and the Central America zone competed for the final place at the tournament.

With venues spread across the United States and Canada, travelling is expected to be a factor. As such, teams have made their bases depending on where their group phases are taking place. The groups have been drawn as follows:

Group A - United States, Panama, Haiti, Honduras

Group B - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Canada

Group C - Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba

The opening fixture will be the Group A game between Panama and Haiti, to take place at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on 7th July.

There is even an 'official song' of the tournament. Feast your ears on this beaut:

Mexico hold the current record for most wins, with six (1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011), with the United States close behind with five (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013).

Bolton fans will remember the US success in 2013, as this was the last time that our mate Stuart Holden was seen on a football field. His injury in the final game against Panama, which ended 1-0 to the USA saw our man depart after a mere 24 minutes with a recurrence of the knee injuries which have blighted his career to date.

So that's it - in brief. The lads will be bringing you more information on the teams as the tournament progresses. Feel free to adopt a team of your own, and follow their progress through to the final being held on 26th July in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles and the Temple Owls football team of Temple University.

We hope you enjoy this little diversion from the world of Bolton Wanderers.

I'd like to close with a repeated Richard Keys-ism - educate your minds.