WASHINGTON, D.C. March 13, 2013 — The U.S. men’s national team has been drawn into Group C of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup along with Belize, Cuba and Costa Rica and has more than a good chance of playing a quarterfinal game at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
The winner and runner-up of Group C will play in the quarterfinals in Baltimore, and as one of the favorites to win the event, the U.S. team will likely be playing in Charm City on Sunday, July 21. The U.S. has reached the Gold Cup final in the last four competitions, winning in 2007.
The U.S. team will open group play against Belize on July 9 at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore., before traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah to face Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium in their second group match on July 13. The Americans finishes the group in Hartford, Conn., against Costa Rica on July 16 at Rentschler Field.
A third-place finish in Group C would have the Americans play a quarterfinal game at the at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on July 20.
The semifinals will be held July 24 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the Gold Cup Final will be hosted at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 28.
“We are excited about this summer’s Gold Cup,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “The tournament improves every cycle and the level gets better and better. As the host, we get to play in different venues across the country, which is great for our fans. At the end of the day, we want to do well and make sure people understand that we want to be dominant in our region. Our goal is to win the competition.”
The U.S. team has never faced Belize, which is competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time.
It has been nearly five years since the USA squared off against Cuba, with the last meeting occurring during the semifinal round of 2010 World Cup qualifying.
The U.S. and Costa Rica have met six times in the Gold Cup, with the U.S. team holding an undefeated 5-0-1 record against the Ticos including a 2-0 victory in the 2002 Gold Cup Final. The U.S. will be facing Costa Rica in the final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying on March 22 at sold-out Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Group A of the Gold Cup consists of Canada, Martinique, Mexico, and Panama. El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago makeup Group B. The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, along with the two of the three third-place finishers.
2013 CONCACAF GOLD CUP
GROUP A: Mexico, Panama, Canada, Martinique
GROUP B: Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti
GROUP C: USA, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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