Gold Cup Today: Mexico take on Cuba, Trinidad and Tobgao vs. Guatemala — Day 3

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Day 3 of the 2015 Gold Cup is upon us and the party now shifts to Chicago as Solider Field is the venue for a double-header to open up Group C play on Thursday.

[ LIVE: 2015 Gold Cup updates ]

Mexico, the 10-time Gold Cup champions, are the heavy favorites to win Group C but as other favorites Costa Rica and the U.S. have found out so far, taking on CONCACAF opponents is not an easy task. Trinidad and Tobago will fancy their chances of advancing to the quarterfinals, while Cuba and Guatemela will be the outsiders.

Below is a brief primer on what to expect from both games, while you can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.

Game 5: Trinidad and Tobago vs. Guatemala
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Live updates: NBCSports.com

After Guatemala’s struggles against the USA in a 4-0 defeat on the eve of the Gold Cup, T&T will be optimistic about their chances of chalking up their first win of the 2015 tournament. With Kenwyne Jones captaining the side up top, the Caribbean outfit will look to whip plenty of balls into the box. As we saw against the U.S., Guatemala has some talented players but its all about whether or not they can get them in the right position. “El Pescadito” is still knocking around as Guatemala will look to its skipper, Carlos Ruiz, for inspiration. Marco Pappa adds quality to the Guatemalan midfield, so expect him to have a good battle with Khaleem Hyland, while Trinidad and Tobago have four MLSers in their ranks. This could go either way.

Game 6: Mexico vs. Cuba
When: Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Live updates: NBCSports.com

El Tri will have plenty of support in the Windy City and Miguel Herrera’s side will be fired up to bring the Gold Cup back home this summer. After struggling at the Copa America with a “B team” last month, Mexico are rightly one of the favorites to lift their first Gold Cup since 2011 but they have lost Hector Herrera and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to injury in the lead up to this tournament. As for Cuba, they only have 16 players to choose from as six players cannot enter the U.S. due to visa issues and their manager Raul Fernandez is also unable to enter the USA. To add to their woes another starter has gone missing from their base in Chicago amid fears he has defected. All in all, expect a big win for Mexico but Cuba did reach the quarterfinals of the 2013 Gold Cup.

Griezmann: Playing for Barcelona is ‘not the easiest’

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Over the summer, Barcelona shelled a whopping $135 million to land Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.

It was a match made in heaven; the rest was supposed to be history.

Only that hasn’t been the case for the Frenchman in Barcelona.

Despite scoring a brace in his debut at the Camp Nou, Griezmann’s impact and influence on the field has quickly dwindled. In 11 league appearances with the Catalan giants, the 28-year-old has scored four goals and added three assists, signs that the World Cup winner is, in fact, struggling with his new team.

Speaking to Telefoot, Griezmann revealed that playing for Barcelona is not an easy thing to do, but that with hard work, his fortunes will turn around for the best:

“It is hard, I knew it would be, it is not the easiest place. This is a new team, a new club, new tactics, a new position. I have to work, try to understand my team-mates, after they will understand me too and it will work just like that… Critics will always be there. But I am good, I am proud of where I am. Only work pays off. I have to take confidence and it will all come just like that.”

This season, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has frequently deployed the Frenchman as a left winger, with the hope that he will link up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The positives form such an ideology have yet to be reaped, however. Griezmann is scoring a goal every 224 minutes, a career worst.

The 28-year-old, too, has played in a central role on a couple of occasions, specifically during the absences of Messi and Suarez, but it hasn’t worked out for a player that has made a career from roaming that part of the field.

The building clamor at the Camp Nou is borderline justifiable – mainly because it’s now evident that Griezmann is wrestling with adapting to the expectations and systems in place in Barcelona.

But the high-flying attacker has proven he’s worth the price time and time again, and now he’s on the record saying that he’ll do everything in his power to do so with his new club.

Real Monarchs beat Louisville City to win first ever USL Cup

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Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.

Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.

Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.

Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.

The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.

On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.

Man arrested after English soccer player reports homophobia

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TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.

Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.

Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.

In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.

Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”

Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video)

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Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.

Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.

With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.

Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.

What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.

Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.