International soccer will command the U.S. sports spotlight this summer during the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
CONCACAF on Tuesday drew the groups and revealed the schedule for this summer’s tournament, in which one nation from the North and Central America and the Caribbean islands will crown itself as regional champion. The United States will host the 14th edition of the Gold Cup, with games taking place from coast to coast.
The Gold Cup will kick off on July 7 with a French Guiana vs. Canada and Costa Ricas vs. Honduras doubleheader. The final will be on July 26 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Here are the groups and matchup dates. Kickoff times are to be determined.
Mexico is the defending champion, having prevailed in the 2015 Gold Cup.
“El Tri,” Costa Rica and the United States are the favorites to win this year’s Gold Cup.
“The year is so important for the U.S. team,” Arena told the U.S. Soccer Federation’s website. “We’re not going to be allowed to have peaks and valleys during the year. We have to be fairly consistent. We have to start in March and get points in World Cup Qualifying. We have to do the same in June, have a good tournament in the Gold Cup in July and have the momentum necessary to be successful in September and October. A perfect year is to qualify for the World Cup and win the Gold Cup.”
Team USA’s Gold Cup adventure will begin on July 8. We’ll learn later in the month whether it will end with a sixth Gold Cup title for the United States.
Fans can purchase tickets to every Gold Cup game by visiting GoldCup.org.
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images