2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup: Group C Preview

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By JACK HAZZARD

Gold Cup logoGroup C is perhaps the most challenging of the opening round of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. It includes the previous winners and runners-up as well as the much improved Curaçao. Mexico, with the U.S. is one of the favorites to win the tournament.

Mexico

FIFA World Ranking: 16

Players to Watch: Erick Torres, José de Jésus Corona, Hugo Ayala

Manager: Juan Carlos Osorio

The reigning Gold Cup champions are hellbent on repeating, though a roster depleted by Mexico’s participation in the Confederations Cup in Russia could have an effect. Although the roster still includes promising youngsters, they have little experience internationally. Mexico’s most-capped player on the roster is José de Jésus Corona with 44. Next is Hugo Ayala with 31 and Jésus Molina with 24. After those two, there are only two other players with more than 10 caps.

El Salvador

FIFA World Ranking: 103

Players to Watch: Andrés Flores, Darwin Cerén, Richard Menjivar, Rodolfo Zelaya

Manager: Eduardo Lara

El Salvador is a hard team to handicap. On one hand, they have a group of obscure domestic league and lower-division players based in the U.S. On the other hand, they seem to give other countries a run for their money year after year. El Salvador should make it to the knockout stage, but could go deeper.

Curaçao

FIFA World Ranking: 68

Players to Watch: Eloy Room, Cuco Martina, Leandro Bacuna

Manager: Remko Bicentini

Curaçao could be this year’s surprise team. It has players who spend time with Premier League and Eredivisie clubs in England and the Netherlands. Curaçao will be a tough out and should not be underestimated.

Jamaica

FIFA World Ranking: 76

Players to Watch: Darren Mattocks, Andre Blake, Kemar Lawrence, Jermaine Taylor

Manager: Theodore Whitemore

Jamaica will be looking to enact revenge on Mexico after 2015’s Gold Cup. Jamaica has a squad full of MLS players. The current roster, however, is without a few key pieces. The Leicester City star Wes Morgan and Watford defender Adrian Mariappa will not be joining the team for the initial group stage (teams can add players for the knockout stages).

Schedule

  • Curaçao vs. Jamaica – July 9 (7 p.m.) at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
  • Mexico vs. El Salvador – July 9 (9 p.m) at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
  • El Salvador vs. Curaçao – July 13 (8 p.m.) at Sports Authority Field, Denver
  • Mexico vs. Jamaica – July 13 (10 p.m.) at Sports Authority Field, Denver
  • Jamaica vs. El Salvador – July 16 (6 p.m.) at Alamodome, San Antonio
  • Curaçao vs. Mexico – July 16 (8 p.m.) at Alamodome, San Antonio

#All times Eastern