Gold Cup Grouping: Familiar Faces

Despite the talent disparity, CONCACAF play is never a stroll in the park for the US.

The Gold Cup group opponents for this year’s critical Gold Cup tournament–the winner gets to go to the annual pre-World Cup preparation tournament called the Confederation’s Cup–was announced this morning.

The US finds itself with an interesting, but not altogether difficult initial set of opponents.

The US is perennial World Cup attendee; these are teams that should be beaten.

They are Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe.

The schedule:

USA vs. Canada, Detroit Motor City, on June 7th, 2011.

USA vs. Panama, Tampa Bay, on June 11th, 2011.

USA vs. Guadeloupe, Kansas City, June 14th, 2011.

—-

And you have to consider Mexico’s grouping of Costa Rica, El Salvador and Cuba to be a bit more daunting.

The final grouping? Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica, Grenada.

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28 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, Mexico got screwed. While there’s like a .1% chance of the U.S. not making it out of its group, and like another .3% chance of not finishing first…the odds of Mexico not making it out are kind of decent (yeah, I know, third-place teams), and the odds of Mexico not finishing first aren’t too bad either.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/03/08 at 11:08 AM

      I think .1% fairly describes Mexico’s chance of not making it out of the group as well. Remember they’ll have huge crowds behind them for all the games.

      Reply

  2. Posted by usry723 on 2011/03/08 at 10:15 AM

    I like that people are hyping up the Canada game and everything but lets be for real. We’re going to smash them. Just like we’ll smash the other two teams. I know that line of thinking doesn’t get much views on blogs but it’s the truth. I’ll enjoy the smashings and then get ready to sweat for the final.

    Reply

    • Posted by Kenny on 2011/03/08 at 10:23 AM

      I agree, if were truly are gonna bring something close to our “A” Team IF NOT the senior team itself, then we should be able to get out of this without breaking a sweat!

      Reply

    • The US did not “smash” Canada in 2007. The US was actually lucky to get out of there with a regulation time win.

      I don’t expect Canada to go down without a fight. They were one of the best teams in the group stage of the 2009 Gold Cup.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/08 at 10:30 AM

        Canada will be a tougher opponent and certainly angling for revenge for 2007. That said, here’s the teams–if I wanted the US to have it easy which I really didn’t–that I didn’t want the US to face: Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Guatemala.

        The US didn’t get any of them.

        That said, I wanted the US to have some competition here.

        Reply

        • Matt, you’ve proposed winner of this game gets Bunbury, loser gets Buffalo. I disagree with those stakes. I think we take Vancouver and Bunbury if we win. Only fair–Vancouver is basically cold SF anyway.

          Reply

          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/08 at 10:34 AM

            Oh, that wasn’t my idea, but I RT’d it.

            That said, I would gladly trade Landon for Vancouver. My 3rd favorite city in North America. Landon’s going to be 30 in a year, you know.

            Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/03/08 at 10:58 AM

        The US did not “smash” Canada in 2007. The US was actually lucky to get out of there with a regulation time win.

        Not only were we lucky, the refs really handed us that game (and I’m about as big a US-homer as you’ll find). Bocanegra should have been sent off very early, and then ref disallowed a equalizer that was clearly onside.

        Reply

  3. Posted by SteveM11 on 2011/03/08 at 10:27 AM

    Canada is a patsy team. heck, Bunbury didn’t even really consider playing for them.

    Reply

  4. [...] US gets their group in the Gold Cup this summer. Relatively easier than the other two group. TSG talks about it here. I think there will be more to talk about when the time comes and rosters have been selected. one [...]

    Reply

  5. I have to disagree here. I think the US has the toughest group. A lot of countries in CONCACAF are lucky that Guadeloupe is not allowed to qualify for the World Cup because they would most likely fight for the 3rd or 4th each cycle.

    Costa Rica and Guatemala may be stronger than Guadeloupe, but the 3rd and 4th teams are the difference for me. People constantly underrate Panama for some reason. Panama finished ahead of El Salvador and Guatemala in the 2011 Copa Centroamericana.

    Canada is more capable of the big win than others. El Salvador is tough at home, but much weaker as the away team or at a neutral site. Jamaica has similar organization problems as Canada, but they did win the 2010 Caribbean Championship over Guadeloupe. Grenada and Cuba are the two weakest teams in the tournament.

    This is how I look at it:
    US/Guadeloupe >> El Salvador/Cuba.

    US > Honduras. Guadeloupe > Guatemala. Canada > Grenada.

    Mexico/Costa Rica >> Honduras/Guatemala. El Salvador/Cuba = Jamaica/Grenada.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/08 at 10:50 AM

      Fair points, but you’re also talking about teams that are not as familiar and strong on the road. Teams like El Sal, Mex, Hon, Costa Rica are more seasoned on the road.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/08 at 10:52 AM

        And let’s remember the 2011 Copa Centroamericana was IN Panama.

        Reply

        • Good point about the tournament location though. I do believe Panama is the best 4th team because they perform better at neutral sites than Cuba and Grenada.

          IMO, Canada is stronger than El Salvador, but Jamaica may be better than Canada. The difference is that the US and Guadeloupe as a pair are better than Honduras and Guatemala.

          I do think Mexico and Costa Rica are the toughest top pair (Mexico v. CR is THE top group stage match), but El Salvador and Cuba are the weakest second pair.

          Reply

    • Well somehow my post got messed up.

      Reply

  6. I don’t know about Honduras’ group being harder. Panama always gives USA trouble and Guadeloupe in its two appearances has made the quarterfinals and semifinals.

    Reply

  7. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/08 at 12:37 PM

    If the USA prepares properly, gets their tactics spot on and plays well, I cannot see them losing or dropping too many points.

    Reply

  8. Looking forward to USA-Canada. Canada won’t have forgotten what happened in 2007. Mexico’s group looks tough – I didn’t want the USA to have to face either Costa Rica or El Salvador, so unlucky for Mexico that they drew both. I can’t decide if I want Mexico to fall during the group or face us later on in the tournament.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Crow on 2011/03/08 at 2:06 PM

    So what games are you guys going to attend? I was so glad to see the USA get the RFK side of the draw in the knockout round. I love going to that dump- its always rockin’ on the bouncy bleachers. I will NEVER forget the CD9/Honduras night. And I’m sick of going up to the Meadowlands (Brazil, Argentina).

    I had planning on making the cross country trip to LA to see the final as my vacation this year. I’m kinda sad though- I would love to attend the game in KC. That will be a great atmosphere- the fans in KC have worked so hard and long to get a USMNT game there and it is so close to AO headquarters. I wish they would have got a more important game than Guadaloupe. I love playing Mexico in Columbus, but in the future could they maybe schedule it in Kansas City? I know that there would be a large hispanic crowd still, but the AO section would be insane. Anyway, sadly I think I will have to miss that game.

    (OFF TOPIC) I was kind of hoping TSG would have some coverage on the AO rally. I guess not.

    (ALSO OFF TOPIC) That was a sick video of Valparaiso, Chile. I have always wanted to go there, and even more so now.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Crow on 2011/03/08 at 2:13 PM

    Clearly Bob Bradley has taken some lessons from Joe Paterno when it comes to discussing a cupcake opponent:

    On facing Guadeloupe:
    “Guadeloupe has proven to be a strong team in the Caribbean region. We saw how well they played in reaching the semifinals in 2007, and they pushed a very good Jamaican team in the final of the Digicel Cup back in December. We will certainly not be taking them lightly.”

    Reply

  11. Gold Cup tickets:

    Here’s the lowdown on tickets for the US group stage matches according to Concacaf.com (to my knowledge)

    Tickets go on sale to the public on Mar. 16 ticketmaster.com

    “Pre-sale tickets” available tomorrow (Wed) after 10 am “purchased through local stadium box offices or local MLS teams”

    Reply

    • According to Sam’s Army:
      ” U.S. Soccer has arranged with CONCACAF to have designated Supporters Sections…purchase only online through ticketmaster.com…starts Wed at 10 a.m. Tickets in the supporters section will be $5 less than the public sale price. Seating will be reserved and not general admission. (Have to go to Sam’s Army website for the code to purchase tickets)

      Reply

    • According to American Outlaws:
      AO will “have SS tickets available for KC game tomorrow (Wed) morning. Waiting to hear from US Soccer about other two group games.”

      (Side note from the KC ownership: if you have season tickets to KC MLS matches you have a free SS ticket and can purchase a few additional tickets at $30)

      Reply

    • Just posting this because I am wondering whether USSoccer is going to give AO it’s own section for the other 2 group matches (as per usual); or if there is going to be one big supporter’s section and have to purchase tickets the way Sam’s Army states above (which would be individual seats not general admission.)

      Looking forward to the gold cup.

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/03/08 at 2:53 PM

        Good info- I saw the update on the AO site. I can’t believe Sam’s Army put any information on their site. The last time I checked their site about a month ago there was still a World Cup preview up on the front page.

        I’ll tell you one thing- I don’t like this reserved seating for the supporters sections. It kind of hinders the atmosphere. They pulled that at the USA-Colombia game at PPL Park. AO said it was PPL Park’s fault.

        Reply

  12. Posted by Jennifer on 2011/03/08 at 6:07 PM

    I’m excited to see who we will be playing. Don’t think Canada and even Panama should be overlooked. Glad we got a game in Fl. Can’t wait for June 11.

    Reply

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