Match-ups announced for Gold Cup doubleheader at Sporting Park in Kansas City
(Via Sporting Kansas City) – CONCACAF announced on Thursday the full schedule for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, to be held in the United States and Canada from July 7-26 with the top 12 national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas will host the Group A finales on July 13 during an international doubleheader featuring the following two match-ups:
Game 1: Honduras/French Guiana vs. Haiti at 6 p.m. CT
Game 2: United States of America vs. Panama at 8:30 p.m. CT
The Gold Cup is the region’s marquee national team tournament and the premier competition for the United States Men’s National Team in 2015. This year’s tournament carries additional significance as it will help determine CONCACAF’s representatives at the Centennial Cup America in 2016 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017.
Honduras and French Guiana will meet in a two-game playoff series on March 25 and March 29 with the winner securing the final berth in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Honduras: Los Catrachos – ranked No. 77 by FIFA — represented CONCACAF at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and have reached the semifinal round in four of the past five Gold Cup tournaments. Led by head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, the Honduran roster may feature Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza.
French Guiana : Aiming for their first Gold Cup berth, French Guiana were the top scoring team at the 2014 Caribbean Cup where they earned a 1-1 draw against Cuba and a 4-1 victory over Curacao to advance to this month’s playoff series.
Haiti: Making their sixth Gold Cup appearance, Les Grenadiers are No. 78 in the FIFA rankings and could have a third straight group stage meeting with Honduras on the horizon. Haiti’s roster may feature midfielder Soni Mustivar, who joined Sporting KC last month after playing professionally in France and Romania.
United States: The U.S. MNT – ranked No. 31 by FIFA – are five-time Gold Cup champions and reached the knockout round at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the country’s 10th appearance at a FIFA World Cup. Led by Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. roster may feature Sporting KC defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi.
Panama : Third-place finishers at the 2011 Gold Cup and runners-up in 2013, Los Canaleros are ranked No. 61 by FIFA. Panama featured two of the top players at the 2013 Gold Cup in LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (Golden Glove winner) and Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres (Golden Boot winner).
The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to Sporting Park for the fourth time. The state-of-the-art stadium first hosted the U.S. MNT – and Panama — during the 2011 Gold Cup.
The two countries will continue their rivalry after meeting in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship and again on a dramatic final day of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Most recently, the United States and Panama played a friendly last month.
Sporting Park has served as the site for numerous marquee matches, including Olympic and World Cup qualifiers, the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, 2013 MLS All-Star Game and 2013 MLS Cup. The 2015 Gold Cup will mark the sixth time a U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team has played in Kansas City, Kansas since the award-winning venue opened in June 2011 – more than any city in the country over that time period.