The 2019 ConCaCaf Gold Cup comes to Lincoln Financial Field for a Quarter Final double header. This is your mostly the facts preview for the two matches.
The Gold Cup is a Biennial tournament held by ConCaCaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) which decides their continental champion. Since the FIFA Confederations Cup and subsequently the ConCaCaf Cup no longer exist, for the first time since 2009, the winner will not qualify for any other major tournament.
Who is playing:
The opener will feature Jamaica vs. Panama at 5:36, which should draw a good crowd as the annual Penn Relays has shown the fervor of the local Jamaicans. Most of the fans though, will be there to see the United States vs. Curacao scheduled for 8:36. I say scheduled because this is a “knock-out” round so any match could go 120′ and then penalty kicks as the decider. There may well be “Hydration” breaks in these matches, as the heat and humidity continue to be high in Philadelphia, though forecast ot be a bit less than the previous few days.
participants Best Gold Cup finishes:
The USMNT is the only team out of this group to win the Gold Cup, which they have done 6 times, 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2017. Panama was a runner up in 2005 and 2013, as was Jamaica in 2015 and 2017. Curacao’s best finish was third place in 1963 – the first year of the tournament when they were still known as Netherlands Antilles, as well as 1969.
How They Moved on in Gold Cup Group Play:
Jamaica and Curacao came in 1st and second in group C, separated by a draw and a loss.
The same was true for the US and Panama, with US sweeping the group for Los Canaleros’ only loss.
Last Time Out:
Each team ended the group playing the one closest behind them. The Reggae Boyz and Curacao played to a 1-1 draw on 6/25. That draw both cemented Jamaica’s top spot as well as moving Curacao on. As noted above the US beat Panama 1-0 on a goal by Jozy Altidore 66′. This match decided who would win the group.
Gold Cup Matchup History:
Panama and Jamaica have faced each other only once before in Gold Cup play, a 1-1 draw during the group stage in 1993.
US and Curacao have never played each other in any competition after they stopped being Netherlands Antilles. They were matched up in a qualifying round for the 1985 Concacaf Championship, which served as qualifying for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The first leg in Curaçao 6/6/84 was a nil-nil draw. The US finished them off easily 4-Nil in St Louis 10/6/84
Philadelphia Union Ties:
GK Andre Blake is the only Union player still in this competition playing for Jamaica.
What’s at Stake:
The winners will play each other on Wednesday, 7/3 at Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tn. 9:30 PM FS1.
Having seen fist hand how Jamaican GK Andre Blake can turn a match around with spectacular saves, I have to lean towards Jamaica edging Panama 2-1 in the opener.
Unless the US gets caught in the trap of looking ahead, they should have no problem with a Curacao team that only put two balls in the net in group play. The US has not given up a goal yet. I think that will change as Curacao comes out fired up in its first Gold Cup Quarterfinal, calling it 3-1 US