GROUP A: USA, Panama, Haiti, Honduras
GROUP B: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Canada, Jamaica
GROUP C: México, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba
DAVID AND GOLIATH
The United States are the winningest side in Gold Cup history, edging Mexico in total wins (48 to 41) despite trailing in titles (six to five), and it will be a shock to everyone in CONCACAF if the Americans don’t finish atop the group after going undefeated in the 2013 tournament.
On the flip side, Haiti are simply hoping they can find their feet quickly after playing just one match this year – a 2-2 draw against China – in preparation for the tournament. There is hope, though. Les Grenadiers made the quarterfinals in two of their five previous Gold Cup appearances and even drew the US, 2-2, in the 2009 edition.
Pole position in will most likely come down to the Group A finale between the USMNT and Panama on July 13 at Sporting Park, a rematch of the 2013 Gold Cup final won by the Americans, 1-0, as well as the final match of the Hexagonal in Panama City that broke Los Canaleros‘ hearts and kept them from a World Cup playoff. Think San Zusi.
Panama would love nothing more than to reverse recent history, and both sides will be eager to avoid a matchup with the winner of Group B in the quarterfinals.