The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Gold Cup has been held mainly in the United States every two years since 1991, with the exception of a few of the games each year being held in the neighboring countries of Canada and Mexico.
However, this year, the hosting U.S. men’s national team won’t be making an appearance in the championship game which will take place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia July 26.
On July 22, the U.S. men’s national team, the defending Gold Cup champions, lost in a huge upset to Jamaica in the semifinal game, 2-1. It’s the first time since 1969 that the U.S. men’s national team has lost a game to a Caribbean nation on its own turf.
It’s also the first time since 2003 that the U.S. won’t be competing in the final game of Gold Cup tournament.
The loss was a tough one to swallow for a U.S. team thought to be substantially superior to Jamaica. The Jamaican goals came in a pair in the first half, less than five minutes apart, slipping past the hands of goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
The final score was only 2-1, but those two goals made a huge difference down the line to the Americans who weren’t expecting to be handed a loss by the No.76 Jamaicans.
Giving up two goals in that first half marked the first time it’s happened to the U.S. men’s team in 32 games — which means it’s the first time it’s happened since 2013.
Going into the second half, the score was still 2-0, Jamaica. In the 48th minute, the U.S. finally got on the board courtesy of a goal from the team’s best player of the evening, Michael Bradley.
Bradley’s marker cut the Jamaican lead in half, and for the rest of the second half, he and the U.S. poured on the pressure.
Neither team would score again, despite the fact that the U.S. had possession 60 percent of the game and took 1 more shots than the Jamaican team did.
The loss also means that the U.S. will not have an automatic spot in the 2017 Confederation Cup in Russia. The only way that they will earn a spot is through a playoff game against the winner of the Gold Cup.
Jamaica will advances to the final game of the Gold Cup at Lincoln Financial Field, where Mexico, who beat Panama in the other semifinal action, lies waiting.
The final game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup will be held July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field. The U.S. Men’s team will play in the third place game against Panama July 25 at 4:00 p.m. at PPL Park, the home of the Philadelphia Union.
Tickets for both games can be purchased on the CONCACAF website.