USA drawn into Group C, Mexico in Group A of the CONCACAF Gold Cup
The U.S. Men's National Team was drawn into Group C of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup along with Belize, Cuba and Costa Rica. The U.S. 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 United States finishes the group in Hartford, Conn., against Costa Rica on July 16 at Rentschler Field.
Group A of the CONCACAF Gold Cup consists of Canada, Martinique, Mexico, and Panama. El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago make up Group B. The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, along with the two of the three third-place finishers.
If the U.S. advances out of the group stage in first or second place, its quarterfinal match would take place July 21 at M&T Bank Field in Baltimore, Md. A third-place finish would see the United States 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 Men's National Team has never faced Belize, which is competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time. The match on July 9 will be the USA's first in Portland since a friendly with Kuwait in 1998.
It has been nearly five years since the USA squared off against Cuba, with the last meeting occurring during the Semifinal Round of 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The USA's most recent match against Cuba in the Gold Cup came in 2005, when goals from Landon Donovan (2), DaMarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey gave the USA a 4-1 win in their opening match and set them on course to winning the title. Rio Tinto Stadium last hosted the U.S. MNT in a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador on Sept. 5, 2009.
The U.S. and Costa Rica have met six times in the Gold Cup, with the United States 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 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on March 22 at sold-out Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.