U.S. Soccer makes pre-Gold Cup friendly vs. Guatemala in San Diego official

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Before you say “Gold Cup Schmold Cup,” and dismiss the upcoming July event as unworthy or your time, do know this about the regional championship of the CONCACAF region:

This year’s version carries just a little more weight than it would have in previous “off” years. That’s because the winner of this year’s tournament will face the 2015 winner for the right to compete in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

And most of us do see the value of the Confederations Cup places, don’t we? I mean, how nice would it be to see Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. national team test itself against the best later this month in Brazil? (And please spare us your “4-2 Belgium” snarkiness for now … although there is something to it, eh?)

So, while Klinsmann will lean on a B team — guys like Benny Feilhaber (pictured), Brad Evans, Kyle Beckerman, Will Bruin and up-and-comers like Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Josh Gatt, etc. —  for July’s Gold Cup, making it easier for us to dismiss, there is a little something on the line, at least.

(MORE: Notes on the Gold Cup preliminary roster)

That’s why the United States wanted to play a friendly prior to its first Gold Cup contest, to get the B siders one match together ahead of actual competition. This long talked about friendly (not a well-guarded secret) became official today as U.S. Soccer announced it would face Guatemala on July 5 at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.

The match will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and in Spanish on UniMas.