CONCACAF Gold Cup 2009: Schedule and Preview

Sports WriterCorrespondent IJune 16, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 24:  Team USA celebrates with the trophy after their 2-1 win against Mexico during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final match at Soldier Field on June 24, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The 2009 Gold Cup kicks off Friday July 3rd, less than three weeks away, so first off, here is the schedule:


First Round
Friday, July 3
Canada vs. Jamaica
Costa Rica vs. El Salvador

Saturday, July 4
Honduras vs. Haiti
Grenada vs. USA

Sunday, July 5

Panama vs. Guadeloupe
Nicaragua vs. Mexico

Tuesday, July 7
Jamaica vs. Costa Rica
El Salvador vs. Canada

Wednesday, July 8
Haiti vs. Grenada
USA vs. Honduras

Thursday, July 9

Guadeloupe vs. Nicaragua
Mexico vs. Panama

Friday, July 10
Costa Rica vs. Canada
El Salvador vs. Jamaica

Saturday, July 11
USA vs. Haiti
Honduras vs. Grenada

Sunday, July 12
Panama vs. Nicaragua
Mexico vs. Guadeloupe

Saturday, July 18 – Philadelphia
Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up
Group B winner vs. Group A/C third-place
Sunday, July 19 – Dallas
Group C runner-up vs. Group A runner-up
Group C winner vs. Group A/B third place

Thursday, July 23 – Chicago
Philadelphia quarterfinal winners
Dallas quarterfinal winners

Sunday, July 26 - New York

With USA winning the past two Gold Cups, and being the highest ranked team going in, they are surely the favorite, but they will no doubt face opposition.

Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras are surely teams to watch out for.

Here are the groups:

Group A will consist of Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Jamaica. Look for Costa Rica to be the favorite here, especially after beating USA in a World Cup Qualifying match a few weeks ago.

Group B will consist of Grenada, USA, Haiti and Honduras. USA and Honduras will be favorites. USA should win this group with ease, considering their play against Honduras earlier in the year.

Group C will consist of Guadeloupe, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. Mexico is surely the favorite going in and should easily win this group.


Quarterfinal Predictions: Costa Rica v. Honduras

                                    USA V. El Salvador


                                    Panama v. Canada
                                      Mexico v. Haiti
Semi-final Predictions: Costa Rica v USA
                               Mexico v. Canada
Final Prediction: Mexico v. USA...Winner: USA 
Look for USA to rebound with two rematches, first against Costa Rica and second a rematch of the 2007 Gold Cup versus Mexico, in which USA won 2-1.