Gold Cup groups are announced as the US readies to defend its title

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Gold Cup groups are announced as the US readies to defend its title

Marcel Carrasco

With the venues set and groups announced, the 2019 Gold Cup is ready to kick off this summer with a tournament finale scheduled to be held at July 7 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. This year’s tournament will be held in the United States as usual with Costa Rica and Jamaica each hosting two matches.

The U.S. has hosted the tournament since 1991 with Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, and Jamaica all serving as minor co-hosts.

The Gold Cup is a international men’s soccer tournament held every two years to crown the winner of the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean American Federation or the CONCACAF.

Mexico has taken the Gold Cup seven times while the U.S. has been crowned six times. Canada took the championship in 2000, beating out Colombia who were an invited guest for the tournament.

Groups for the tournament were announced April 10 with Mexico headlining Group A and current CONCACAF Gold Cup champions United States leading Group D.

Mexico is joined by Canada, Martinique and Cuba in group A. Mexico will not participate in this year’s Copa America. Resources normally spent on Copa America will be shifted to the Gold Cup, meaning a higher chance of success.

Canada has an up-and-coming squad looking to state their presence, but Martinique has been turning heads lately.

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Group B includes Costa Rica, Haiti, Bermuda, and Nicaragua. The Costa Ricans should have no problem coming out on top in Group B. Haiti looks to be the favorite for the second spot that’s up for grabs.

Jamaica and Honduras will be in Group C with El Salvador and Curacao. Jamaica and Honduras will fight for the first place spot with the Reggae Boyz opening their tournament in Kingston, Jamaica.

The U.S. will see Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. The Stars and Stripes are assigned with the toughest group of the tournament.

Panama is coming off its first World Cup appearance in history where it finished in last place in Group G. Trinidad y Tobago beat the US in a last match World Cup qualifier which kept out the U.S. from heading to Russia.

The tournament will kick off on June 15 with Group A when Canada faces Martinique before Mexico faces Cuba. Both matches will be held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

The U.S. will play their first match against Guyana. The match is set for 9 p.m. June 18 in St. Paul, Minnesota.