2013 Gold Cup groups drawn: U.S. with Costa Rica, Cuba, Belize

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source:  We now know who the U.S. will play in the Gold Cup group stages, and with it, we know a good part of their summer schedule.

The United States were drawn into Group C of this summer’s Gold Cup, the biennial competition that crowns CONCACAF’s champions. The presence of Costa Rica will make it a relatively difficult group, with Cuba and Belize rounding out the quartet.

The U.S. start their tournament on July 9 against Belize at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland. From there, the States move on to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah for a meeting with Cuba before completing group play in Hartford against Costa Rica at Rentschler Field.

With the group’s top two teams guaranteed a place in the quarterfinals, there’s little danger of the U.S. significantly slipping in the opening stage. Group C’s top two teams are substantially better than the foursome’s bottom half.

In the other groups, Mexico was drawn into Group A along with Panama, Canada, and Martinique – next exactly an easy quartet. Mexico would normally be favorites to defending their 2011 title, but with El Tri competing in Confederations Cup, we may see a Mexican B-side. (Will the U.S. follow suit?)

Group B looks to be the weakest of the quartets, with Honduras grouped along side El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Martinique.

If the U.S. wins their group, they’ll face the third place team from group A or B in the quarterfinals. Should they slip against Costa Rica and finish second, they’ll face the winner of Group B in the final eight – potentially Honduras.

Here’s the full schedule, as copy and pasted from CONCACAF.com:

2013 CONCACAF GOLD CUP™
GROUP A: Mexico, Panama, Canada, Martinique
GROUP B: Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti
GROUP C: USA, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba

SCHEDULE
(local time followed by EDT time)
First Round
Sunday, July 7 – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
Canada vs. Martinique, 2:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. EDT)
Mexico vs. Panama, 5:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. EDT)

Monday, July 8 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
El Salvador vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 7 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
Haiti vs. Honduras, 9:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. EDT)

Tuesday, July 9 – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, OR)
Costa Rica vs. Cuba, 5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EDT)
Belize vs. USA, 8 p.m. (11 p.m. EDT)

Thursday, July 11 – CenturyLink Field (Seattle, WA)
Panama vs. Martinique, 5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EDT)
Mexico vs. Canada, 8 p.m. (11 p.m. EDT)

Friday, July 12 – Sun Life Stadium (Miami, FL)
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Haiti, 7 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
Honduras vs. El Salvador, 9:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. EDT)

Saturday, July 13 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Salt Lake City, UT)
USA vs. Cuba, 1:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. EDT)
Costa Rica vs. Belize, 4:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. EDT)

Sunday, July 14 – Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)
Martinique vs. Mexico, 2 p.m. (4 p.m. EDT)
Panama vs. Canada, 4:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. EDT)

Monday, July 15 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, TX)
El Salvador vs. Haiti, 6 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
Honduras vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. EDT)

Tuesday, July 16 – Rentschler Field (Hartford, CT)
Cuba vs. Belize, 5:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. EDT)
USA vs. Costa Rica, 8 p.m. (8 p.m. EDT)

Quarterfinals
Saturday, July 20 – Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)
Group A runner-up vs. Group B runner-up, TBD (x)
Group A winner vs. Group B/C third-place, TBD (x)
x-matches scheduled for 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. local (3 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT) with order TBD

Sunday, July 21 – M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD)
Group B winner vs. Group C runner-up, TBD (y)
Group C winner vs. Group A/B third place, TBD (y)
y-matches scheduled for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. local (4 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT) with order TBD

Semifinals
Wednesday, July 24 – Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
X quarterfinal winners, TBD (z)
Y quarterfinal winners, TBD (z)
z-matches scheduled for 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. local (7 p.m. and 10 p.m. EDT) with order TBD

Final
Sunday, July 28- Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m. (4 p.m. EDT)