Gold Cup Kicks Off Today

Later today, the first pair of Gold Cup games will be held, kicking off the 2007 edition of the tournament for North and Central American and Caribbean countries.

At 7 p.m. ET, Costa Rica and Canada will meet at the Orange Bowl in southern Florida. Immediately following that game, Guadeloupe will take on Haiti, 9 p.m. ET. For those of you in the dark about Guadeloupe, as I was, they are the regional team of French Overseas Department Guadeloupe. As part of the French Republic, they are not a member of FIFA but are allowed to compete in CONCACAF competitions. This will be their first Gold Cup appearance.

The United States kicks off their defense of the Gold Cup tomorrow against Guatemala at 9 p.m. ET, with the game being played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. Two days later, the U.S. will take on Trinidad & Tobago and the Nats will finish up the group stage against El Salvador on June 12th at Gillette Stadium.

Either the United States or Mexico has won every Gold Cup since 1991, with the exception of 2000, when both teams were upset early and Canada went on to a surprise victory over invitees Colombia. Surprisingly, the two North American powerhouses have only met twice in that span, with Mexico getting the better of both meetings - in 1993 and 1998, Mexico defeated the U.S. team in the championship game, by scores of 4-0 and 1-0, respectively.

The final will be held on June 24 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. Many people expect it to be a match-up between Mexico and the U.S., which would certainly been entertaining.

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