CHICAGO (March 2, 2005) – The United States Men’s National Team has been drawn against Cuba, Canada and Costa Rica in the first round of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The final groups and match schedule for the eighth Gold Cup, which will be held across seven cities from July 6-24, were announced today.
The U.S. will open Group B play against Cuba on Thursday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. PT at Qwest Field in Seattle, before meeting Canada two days later on Saturday, July 9 at the same venue in a match slated for a 1:30 p.m. PT kickoff. The U.S. will travel across the country for their final group match against Costa Rica on Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
This will be the third time the U.S. will face Cuba in the first round of the Gold Cup. The U.S. defeated Cuba in their two previous meetings, a 3-0 victory in 1998 in Oakland, Calif., and a 1-0 win in 2002 in Pasadena, Calif. The U.S. also met Cuba in the quarterfinals of the last Gold Cup in 2003, running away with a 5-0 victory behind four goals from Landon Donovan in Foxboro, Mass.
The U.S. has only met Canada once before in Gold Cup play, and never in the first round. The only meeting between the two border countries was in the semifinals of 2002, the U.S advancing to the finals by winning 4-2 on penalty kicks after finishing regulation play in a scoreless draw.
The U.S. will be familiar with their final group opponent as they will meet Costa Rica in the Gold Cup a little more than a month after facing them in final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on June 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The U.S. has defeated Costa Rica all five times they have met in the Gold Cup, downing the Ticos twice in the first round (1991, 1998), once in the semifinals (1993), once in the final (2002) and most recently in the Third Place match in 2003, when Bobby Convey’s strike provided a 3-2 victory.
In Group A, Colombia was announced as the second guest team and will join Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago in Miami as the four teams will play all of their group matches at the Orange Bowl.
In Group C, four-time champion Mexico will join Guatemala, Jamaica and guest South Africa for two games in the Los Angeles area, opening at The Home Depot Center before moving to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for their second match. The teams will travel to Houston for their final group matches, closing out the first round on July 13 at Reliant Stadium.
The top two teams from each group and the two best third-place teams will advance to the quarterfinals in Foxboro and Houston on July 16 and 17, respectively. Giants Stadium will host the semifinal matches on July 21 and the Gold Cup Final on July 24.
The U.S. won the inaugural Gold Cup tournament in 1991, following up an inspired semifinal upset of Mexico with a victory over Honduras in penalties (4-3) after playing to a 0-0 draw in regulation in Los Angeles. After watching Mexico win the next three titles in 1993, 1996 and 1998, and Canada upset the field to take home the 2000 crown, the U.S. regained their crown in 2002 by defeating Costa Rica 2-0 in Pasadena, Calif. Mexico won their fourth Gold Cup when they won the most recent tournament in 2003.
The eighth edition of the tournament features a record number of games in more cities than ever before, as 25 games will be played in seven cities across the U.S. Previous editions of the tournament have been held in up to three different venues.
2005 CONCACAF GOLD CUP
Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia
USA, Costa Rica, Canada, Cuba
South Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, Jamaica
GOLD CUP HISTORY
Year Champion Runner-up Venues
1991 USA Honduras Los Angeles, Pasadena (USA)
1993 Mexico USA Dallas (USA); Mexico City (Mexico)
1996 Mexico Brazil Anaheim, San Diego, Los Angeles (USA)
1998 Mexico USA Oakland, Miami, Los Angeles (USA)
2000 Canada Colombia San Diego, Miami, Los Angeles (USA)
2002 USA Costa Rica Pasadena, Miami (USA)
2003 Mexico Brazil Foxboro, Miami (USA); Mexico City (Mexico)
2005 U.S. MNT Schedule