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T&TThe Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup groups and schedule, as well as awarded the 2013 Gold Cup final to the City of Chicago and Soldier Field, to be played on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 4pm EST.

As previously announced, the Rose Bowl will host the opening doubleheader of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, July 7, which will feature reigning Gold Cup champion, Mexico taking on Panama as part of that doubleheader.

Tickets to all Gold Cup matches, an official FIFA calendar tournament, will be available to the general public starting on Thursday, March 21 at 10:00 a.m. (local time in all markets) by visiting GoldCup.org. Special pre-sales will be available starting tomorrow, Thursday, March 14 at many of the participating Gold Cup cities.

"We look forward to a successful tournament and an exciting 2013 Gold Cup final on July 28, right here at Soldier Field," said CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb. "We also expect yet another competition fueled by passionate fans brought together in a celebration that will hopefully inspire a whole new generation of players."

Mexico will anchor Group A, which begins play on July 7, in a double header that kicks off with Canada taking on Martinique at 5:30pm EST the Rose Bowl. Honduras will lead Group B the following day, facing Haiti at Red Bull Arena on July 8, with El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago facing off earlier in the evening.

The United States will play the following night, July 9 in Portland's JELD-WEN Field against Belize in Group C, which also will include Costa Rica vs. Cuba in the first match of the doubleheader.

The 2013 Gold Cup quarterfinals will be played in Atlanta's Georgia Dome and Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium, both first-time hosts in the tournament. The semifinals will head to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX on Wednesday, July 24.

With a mix of historic venues and brand new state of the art soccer facilities that average 57,000 spectators, the 2013 edition of the Gold Cup promises to provide fans both in stadium and at home with unforgettable atmospheres.

In 2011, the tournament drew more than 600,000 fans throughout 13 match-days, including nine sell-outs. Taking place every two years, the Gold Cup has established itself as the region's most popular national team tournament, routinely drawing capacity crowds and millions of television viewers across the region. It features the confederation's best players from the top 12 nations

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) 

Gold Cup draw: Warriors pull Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador.
By Editor (Wired868.com).

Fortune might have smiled on the Trinidad and Tobago national senior team in Chicago today as the “Soca Warriors” arguably received its best draw ever at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which has also become remarkably generous to its participants in the 2013 edition.

There are 12 nations in the Gold Cup finals, which kicks off on 7 July 2013 at the Rose Bowl. But only three will be eliminated in the first round while nine teams will progress to the quarterfinal stage.

In short, it is harder to be eliminated from the Gold Cup than it is to progress.

And, best of all, the Trinidad and Tobago team , the Caribbean Cup runner-up, has somehow ended up with three nations, Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti, that it has enjoyed favourable results against in the recent

In contrast, Group C pits host nation the United States against Central American champion, Costa Rica and Caribbean conqueror, Cuba, as well as Belize. Defending Gold Cup champion, Mexico, heads Group A which also includes Panama, Canada and Martinique.

Trinidad and Tobago has a superior head to head record against El Salvador and Haiti over the last 10 years while the tiny two-island republic is undefeated after two Gold Cup meetings with Honduras in the CONCACAF showcase tournament.

“It’s a good group,” Trinidad and Tobago joint head coach Hutson “Barber” Charles told the TTFF Media. “These are opponents we have competed well against in the past. And I feel that once we prepare well and have our best team possible on the pitch then we can definitely fancy our chances of getting positive results and progressing beyond the group stage…

“We have a program to follow with the build-up in terms of our line-up of international friendlies and the players we are looking at and we intend to stay focused and work hard towards ensuring we stick to our plans.”

Trinidad and Tobago has played in seven Gold Cup tournaments but only ever advanced to the knock-out stage in the 2000 competition when coach Bertille St Clair led to the team to the semi-finals. Since the remaining two nations were guests from other confederations, Trinidad and Tobago effectively finished second among the CONCACAF nations.

St Clair was immediately fired from his post by then special advisor Jack Warner and replaced by now deceased Scotsman Ian Porterfield.

Charles was present at today’s Gold Cup draw in Chicago along with team manager William Wallace and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president Raymond Tim Kee.

The Warriors started their Gold Cup preparations with a 2-0 loss to Peru at Couva on 7 February 2013 while they face Belize and Peru on March 22 and 26 respectively.

Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA midfielder Densill Theobald, who is the most experienced current national player with 88 caps, also expressed his appreciation for the draw.

“No group is an easy one but I feel good about this group with Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras,” said Theobald.

Arguably, the most difficult aspect of the Gold Cup group stage is the air miles.

The Trinidad and Tobago team opens its Gold Cup Group B campaign in New Jersey on July 8 when it faces El Salvador at the Red Bull Arena

The Warriors will then travel to Miami to face Haiti at the Sunlife Stadium on July 12 before meeting Honduras at the BBVA Stadium in Houston on July 15.

2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup groups

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

Group B Schedule

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)

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)

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)

 Head to Head
(Tabulated as played-won-drew-lost-goals for-goals against)

Against El Salvador

(5-3-1-1-8-5)

Against Haiti

(11-6-1-4-14-8)

Against Honduras

(5-0-2-3-4-11)

Editor’s Note: Trinidad and Tobago met Honduras twice in the Gold Cup and won 3-1 in 1998 and drew 1-1 in 2005. However, the Warriors lost both Gold Cup clashes with El Salvador 3-2 in 1998 and 2-1 in 2007.