1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup official logo
|Host country||United States|
|Dates||January 10 – January 21|
|Teams||9 (from 2 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||3 (in 3 host cities)|
|Champions||Mexico (2nd title)|
|Third place||United States|
|Goals scored||42 (3.23 per match)|
|Attendance||487,439 (37,495 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Eric Wynalda (4 goals)|
The tournament went back to the United States and California; the games were hosted by Los Angeles, San Diego, and Anaheim. The format of the tournament changed from 1993: it was expanded to nine teams, separated into three groups of three and played in January as opposed to the 1993 edition which was played in July.
The top team in each group, plus the best second-place finisher would advance to the semifinals. For the first time, a non-CONCACAF team was invited: Brazil, who sent their Under-23 side. Mexico won their second straight Gold Cup, beating the Brazilians 2-0 in the final.
|Team||Qualification||Appearances||Previous best performance|
|North American zone|
|Mexico (TH)||Automatic||3rd||Champions (1993)|
|United States||Automatic||3rd||Champions (1991)|
|Canada||Automatic||3rd||Group Stage (1991,1993)|
|Caribbean zone qualified through the 1995 Caribbean Cup|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Winners||2nd||Group Stage (1991)|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Runners-up||1st||Debut|
|Central American zone qualified through the 1995 UNCAF Nations Cup|
|Guatemala||Runners-up||2nd||Group stage (1991)|
|El Salvador||Third Place||1st||Debut|
|Anaheim||Los Angeles||San Diego|
|Anaheim Stadium||Memorial Coliseum||Jack Murphy Stadium|
|Capacity: 64,593||Capacity: 93,607||Capacity: 60,836|
The 9 national teams involved in the tournament were required to register a squad of 23 players; only players in these squads were eligible to take part in the tournament.
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||2||0||0||2||0||8||–8||0|
|Mexico||5–0||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|L. García 29', 37'
Peláez 70', 90'
A. Garcia 80'
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||0–3||Guatemala|
Holness 27', 63'
|André Luis 3'
Leandro Machado 86'
|Caio 9', 81'
Jamelli 31', 61'
|Trinidad and Tobago||2||0||0||2||4||6||–2||0|
|Trinidad and Tobago||2–3||El Salvador|
|Latapy 59', 64'||Report||Díaz Arce 34', 72' (pen.)
|United States||3–2||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Wynalda 15', 34'
|Report||Dwarika 6', 43'|
|United States||2–0||El Salvador|
|January 18 – Los Angeles|
|January 21 – Los Angeles|
|January 19 – San Diego|
|January 21 – Los Angeles|
|Report||Balboa 79' (o.g.)|
|Report||L. García 54'
|1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup Winners|
|3||United States (H)||4||3||0||1||8||3||+5||9||Third Place|
|7||Trinidad and Tobago||2||0||0||2||4||6||−2||0|
|9||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||2||0||0||2||0||8||−8||0|