Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

USA foe for Gold Cup opener at Nissan Stadium set

USA foe for Gold Cup opener at Nissan Stadium set

Group B: U.S.A., Panama, Martinique, Haiti or Nicaragua. In the last Gold Cup in 2015, the US finished a shocking fourth.

The U.S. men's national soccer team's 2017 Gold Cup opener - at Nissan Stadium - will be against Panama. The Americans will then face Martinique four days later in Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, and will complete the group stage against either Haiti or Nicaragua on July 15 at Cleveland's FirstEnergy Stadium.

The final spot in this summer's tournament will be decided in a two-legged playoff between Haiti and Nicaragua later this month. Group A consists of Honduras, Costa Rica, French Guiana and Canada, while Group C is made up of Mexico, El Salvador, Curaçao and Jamaica. New manager Bruce Arena will be looking to take the Gold Cup crown on home soil as a way to launch into the run-in for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, a World Cup that the USA is now not a lock to qualify for.

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The United States has lifted the CONCACAF Gold Cup five times, winning the inaugural tournament in 1991 before being crowned regional champions again in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013. "Obviously we'll wait to see who the third team will be, but regardless we know we will need to be prepared".

Thursday, July 13 at Sports Authority Field, Denver: El Salvador vs. Curacao; Mexico vs.Jamaica.

That the two countries will most likely end up on opposite sides of the knockout bracket will only heighten the drama on the road to Santa Clara on July 26 for the final; that any of the other 10 teams could play spoiler before then only adds to the excitement.

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