The 15th edition of CONCACAF’s continental tournament kicks off on Friday. The USMNT are the predominant hosts and defending champions—but they’ll need to arrest their poor form to claim their seventh Gold Cup title.
While the US women’s team battle to defend their World Cup title in France, the beleaguered men’s team will be taking part in the Gold Cup, which kicks off on Saturday June 15th. The Gold Cup is held every two years to to determine the best CONCACAF team. This, the 15th edition, features 16 of CONCACAF’s 41 members, expanded from the usual 12.
The six teams who were in the 2018 World Cup hexagonal automatically qualified, and the remainders are the best 10 teams in the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League qualification process. The tournament is structured into four groups of four, and the top two from each group move on to the quarterfinals.
The teams are seeded according to their FIFA ranking, so the current CONCACAF top four—Mexico, the USA, Costa Rica and Honduras — have all been placed in separate groups.
The Gold Cup has traditionally been primarily staged in the US, but in this edition, Costa Rica and Jamaica will each host a pair of group games. 15 venues will be used across the US, including eight current NFL stadiums and 6 MLS venues, and all the group games are double headers—so if you go out to one of the venues, you’ll see two games.
The final, at 9pm ET on Sunday July 7th, will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago, and the opening pair of matches between Canada and Martinique and Mexico and Cuba will be at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles.
The USMNT will start their campaign on Tuesday evening in Minnesota against Gold Cup debutants Guyana, ranked 22nd in CONCACAF. The second match will be against Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday June 22nd in Cleveland, and the final group game, against Panama, takes place in Kansas on Wednesday June 26th.
The USMNT are defending Gold Cup champions, but they are not favourites: that honour falls to the competition’s most successful nation: Mexico. Gregg Berhalter’s side are winless in their last three warm-up games and will be looking for a drastic turnaround if they are to make something of the tournament.
Mexico, meanwhile, have won their last four outings, with coach Tata Martino boasting a 100% record They will take some beating. If you’re looking for a dark horse, Costa Rica are hotly tipped, while Jamaica have made the last two finals. Finally, the entire tournament will be broadcast in the US on the Fox Network, across FS1 and FS2. Univision have the Spanish Language rights.
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