U.S. to Begin Quest for Fifth Gold Cup Title in Group C against Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe
USA to Play its 50th Match in Gold Cup History When Opening Play on June 7 in Detroit; First Match in Kansas City since 2001 to be Held at Sporting Park
March 8, 2011
© John Dorton/U.S. Soccer
CHICAGO (March 8, 2011) — The United States will seek its fifth confederation championship title when they join Group C of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup along with Canada, Guadeloupe and Panama. The U.S. will first take on Canada on June 7 at 8 p.m. ET at Ford Field in Detroit. The team then travels south to face Panama on June 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., before rounding out group play against Guadeloupe on June 14 at the brand new Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. CT.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on March 16 at 10 a.m. local time in each venue market. For more information, visit goldcup.org.
The United States has won four Gold Cup championships since the tournament began in 1991, including three of the last five, and has reached the final of the last three editions of the event. Incredibly, the U.S. has never lost a match in group play, holding a 23-0-2 lifetime record. Overall, the U.S. has a 38-5-6 record in Gold Cup action.
The winner of the 2011 Gold Cup will represent CONCACAF at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. In 2007, the U.S. parlayed a 2-1 victory against Mexico in the Gold Cup final into an historic performance at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, reaching its first ever final of a major FIFA tournament after defeating No.-1 ranked and eventual World Cup Champion Spain in the semifinal.
“We have been drawn into a challenging group with three opponents who have a history of doing well in this competition,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who has led the team to back-to-back appearances in the final. “This is a very important tournament for us, both in terms of winning the confederation championship and qualifying for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. The tournament gets more and more competitive each time around, which shows the progress teams are making in this region. We expect it will be a fantastic tournament.”
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2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Groups
GROUP A: Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Cuba
GROUP B: Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica, Grenada
GROUP C: USA, Canada, Panamá, Guadeloupe
The match near the U.S.-Canadian border will be the fourth meeting between the nations in Gold Cup history, the U.S. holding an unbeaten 2-0-1 record. Twice the United States and Canada have met in the semifinals, including a thrilling encounter in 2002 that had to be decided by penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation and extra time on Jan. 20, 2002, in Pasadena, Calif. In 2007, goals by Frankie Hejduk and Landon Donovan on June 21 in Chicago propelled the U.S. to a 2-1 win and a place in the final against Mexico.
The U.S. will play in Detroit for just the third time in team history, and the first since the 1994 FIFA World Cup. In front of their home fans, the United States played to a 1-1 draw on June 18, 1994, against Switzerland at the Pontiac Silverdome in the first World Cup match played indoors. Two years earlier, the stadium hosted a 2-1 win for the U.S. against the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), a regional organization formed after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The USA and Panama have played four times in their tournament history, including meetings in the last three Gold Cups. A penalty shootout decided the Gold Cup title on July 24, 2005, in East Rutherford, N.J., a young Brad Davis netting the championship-winning PK. The teams subsequently met in the quarterfinals in 2007 and 2009, the U.S. collecting consecutive 2-1 victories. Landon Donovan made history in the win on June 16, 2007, in Foxborough, netting his team-leading 10th career goal in the Gold Cup. Overall, the U.S. leads the series with 3-0-1 record.
Raymond James Stadium will host the full team for the third time and first in official competition. A boisterous crowd of 31,547 set a record for attendance at a U.S. friendly in Florida when Landon Donovan tallied his second career hat trick in a 3-1 victory on March 25, 2007, against Ecuador. On Feb. 24, 2010, the U.S. collected a 2-1 win against El Salvador in one of the final matches before the selection of the 2010 FIFA World Cup roster. Overall, the U.S. holds a 3-1-0 record in Tampa.
Guadeloupe will be a new opponent for the United States, the teams playing for the first time at the full international level. The Gwada Boys are appearing in their third straight Gold Cup, having reached the semifinals in 2007 before falling to Mexico. Guadeloupe qualified for the 2011 event by reaching the finals of the Digicel Cup, where they lost to Jamaica in penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time.
The USA’s final group match will be the first international game held at the sparkling new Sporting Park in Kansas City. The home of Sporting Kansas City will open five days earlier when they host the Chicago Fire. Josh Wolff banged in the game-winner in the 1-0 victory in 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying against Costa Rica on April 25, 2001, at Arrowhead Stadium. Their only other visit to the city came Nov. 2, 1968, in a World Cup qualifier against Bermuda.
Should the U.S. finish in either first or second place in Group C, they would play a quarterfinal match on June 19 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The second-place team from the group will play June 18 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. Reliant Stadium in Houston will host both semifinals June 22, and the championship final will be played June 25 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The 11th edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup will be contested in the 20-year anniversary of the inaugural tournament. Held in 1991 in Los Angeles, the United States defeated Honduras 4-3 penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation and extra time to capture the original title. In addition to the four aforementioned titles in the first nine editions of the regional championship, the U.S. has also finished second three times and third twice.
The USA’s next international friendlies will be played in March, beginning with a match against two-time FIFA World Cup Champion Argentina on March 26 in East Rutherford, N.J. Kickoff at the New Meadowlands Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Three days later, the U.S. hosts Paraguay at LP Field in Nashville. That match will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel and TeleFutura beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
Tickets for both games are currently on sale through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets for the Argentina game are also available at Ticketmaster outlets throughout the New York/New Jersey area, at the New Meadowland Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and at the IZOD Center ticket office (open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). For the Paraguay game, Ticketmaster outlets throughout Central Tennessee (including Kroger stores) and the LP Field ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will carry tickets.