CONCACAF Gold Cup: USMNT, Jamaica headed for TQL Stadium this week

UPDATE, Wednesday: The matchups are set for TQL Stadium's CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal doubleheader on Sunday.

Guatemala and Canada booked their respective places in the quarterfinal round with victories Tuesday to close out play in Group D. Guatemala topped the group and will play Jamaica, the Group A runner-up, at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Canada, the Group D runner-up, will play the USMNT, the Group A winner, in Sunday's second match, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The winners will advance to the July 12 semifinal round.

Guatemala, Jamaica and Canada will all be playing at TQL Stadium for the first time while the USMNT will play at the venue for the third time since it opened in May 2021.

The USMNT previously played a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against archrival Mexico in November 2021. That was followed by a World Cup tune-up match against Morocco June 1, 2022.

U.S. Soccer also staged a USWNT friendly against Paraguay in September, 2021.

Previous reporting: After missing the last three FC Cincinnati matches while on USMNT duty, it still might be a few more weeks before we see Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga suit up for FCC due to CONCACAF Gold Cup play. But you can still catch them at TQL Stadium on Sunday.

That's because the USMNT, which needed a result in Charlotte Sunday night against Trinidad and Tobago, stormed out to a 6-0 win with Vazquez scoring the last of the six goals to complete the rout. The win and the margin of victory secured the USMNT's progression in the tournament, as well as the primetime slot in next Sunday's Gold Cup doubleheader at TQL Stadium.

Brandon Vazquez, pictured here celebrating after scoring the equalizing goal in a 1-1 tie against Jamaica in Gold Cup play at Soldier Field, is coming to TQL Stadium for CONCACAF Gold Cup knockout round play Sunday, July 9.
Brandon Vazquez, pictured here celebrating after scoring the equalizing goal in a 1-1 tie against Jamaica in Gold Cup play at Soldier Field, is coming to TQL Stadium for CONCACAF Gold Cup knockout round play Sunday, July 9.

The USMNT and Jamaica advanced from group play in the Gold Cup, with the Americans edging Jamaica for the top spot. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw and then defeated their next two group opponents to finish with identical group record, but the USMNT had a plus-12 goal difference versus the Reggae Boyz's plus-eight goal difference.

Consequently, Jamaica will open next Sunday's Gold Cup doubleheader at TQL Stadium against a to-be-determined opponent at 5 p.m. The USMNT will then play a to-be-determined opponent at 7:30 p.m.

When will we know who the USMNT, Jamaica play?

Jamaica, which is considered the Group A runner-up, will play the winner of Group D. For now, Guadeloupe is leading Group D but has a pivotal match against the second place nation, Guatemala, to close out Group D play.

The Guadeloupe-Guatemala match (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.) also has implications for the USMNT, which will play Group D's runner up.

A slip-up by Guatemala would open the door for Canada to sneak into Group D's runner-up position. That could set up a rematch of the CONCACAF Nations League finale won by the Americans June 18.

Canada plays Cuba, and will be heavy favorites, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

So, what's coming to TQL Stadium again?

To summarize, there are two games to be played at TQL Stadium. Four teams will be involved and the USMNT and Jamaica have already booked their tickets to pass through Cincinnati. What needs to happen now is for Group D to be settled so the opponents are known.

Both games in Cincinnati are in the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup, which every two years crowns the national-team champion of CONCACAF, the FIFA region comprised of the member federations of North and Central American, and the Caribbean.

How Miazga, Vazquez have played

Matt Miazga started two of the USMNT's group-stage matches and Vazquez had two goals in group play, but scored what was almost certainly the most important goal for his team in group play when he equalized in the 88th minute against Jamaica June 24 to force a 1-1 draw.

Had the Americans lost to Jamaica, the USMNT likely would have finished as runners-up in Group A and facing a tougher knockout round opponent in Cincinnati.

The USMNT went on to dominate its next two group opponents. FC Dallas striker Jesus Ferreira got some headlines for pouring in goals in both games, but Vazquez provided the big goal against a loaded Jamaica side.

Vazquez would then close out the scoring in group play with the sixth and final goal of the night Saturday against Trinidad and Tobago. It was a tidy chip shot and gave Vazquez his third USMNT goal of 2023 in six appearances.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: CONCACAF Gold Cup: USMNT, Jamaica play at Cincinnati's TQL Stadium