CONCACAF GOLD CUP 2011 PREVIEW
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, holds a bi-yearly tournament for the countries it represents to find its champion. The competition is broken up into three zones –North American, Central American and Caribbean—and those zones’s advancing teams divided into three groups. For the 2011 edition, the teams playing for the Gold Cup are Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Cuba (Group A); Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica, Grenada (Group B); and USA, Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe (Group C).
The Gold Cup is usually held in the United States, with Mexico sometimes co-hosting. This year, however, is all on American soil. Many of the fields used are primarily for Major League Soccer teams, like New York’s Red Bull Arena and Los Angeles’ Home Depot Center.
Going in to the tournament, the biggest bets to advance are both Mexico in Group A and the US in Group C, thanks to their previous matches with their group adversaries. Other teams that are on the rise that might surprise are Honduras, which posted a 4-2-1 record against CONCACAF opponents leading up to the tourney, and Jamaica, which had a perfect 3-0-0 record in group stages.
Whatever draws come up, the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be sure to bring soccer (or futbol) to the next stage in America. With the eyes on the next World Cup, teams will be sure to bring their A-Game to the pitch to show the world that they’re ready not only to hoist the Gold Cup, but the 2014 World Cup in Rio De Janiero as well.