Mexico, Canada to Open 2019 CONCACAF Gold in Rose Bowl

Published : Friday, April 12, 2019 | 5:42 AM

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) 2019 Gold Cup kicks off on June 15 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with Canada first playing against Martinique, followed by a Mexico vs. Cuba match in a doubleheader opening the 15th edition of the continental championship tournament.

Concacaf announced the groups and schedule Wednesday at an event hosted at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, in the presence of the participating head coaches, as well as football personalities, city dignitaries, and Confederation officials.

Mexico is in Group A alongside Cuba, Canada, and Martinique.

The 2019 Gold Cup will be the biggest-ever edition of the event, with 16 participating nations, up from 12 in 2017, three host countries, including first-time matches in Costa Rica and Jamaica, and 17 stadiums, from 14 in 2017. Eight of the stadiums are in contention to become a 2026 FIFA World Cup venue.

“The love for football is demonstrated with every passing edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup,” Concacaf President Victor Montagliani said. “Bringing the 16-team Gold Cup to Costa Rica, Jamaica and the United States is a watershed moment for football in our Confederation. This 15th edition will make the tournament more competitive and compelling for players and fans, while showcasing our region’s unity, passion for football and talent on the field.”

Group B will debut in the tournament on Sunday, June 16, in Costa Rica’s Estadio Nacional, marking the first-time the tournament is played in Central America. Costa Rica and Nicaragua will face-off in Group B’s evening match, while Haiti and Bermuda will open the day’s doubleheader.

In Group C, the seeded nation, Honduras, will travel to Kingston, Jamaica, to take on the Reggae Boyz, marking the first time the tournament is played in the Caribbean, while Curaçao and El Salvador battle for early group dominance.

Group D, led by manager Gregg Berhalter’s United States will begin their title defense in Minnesota’s Allianz Field against Guyana, who will be making their Gold Cup debut, while Panama take on Trinidad and Tobago in what is sure to be a tightly contested match to round out the day and the first full round of Group Stage matchups.

Canada will play Martinique on June 15 at 4:30 p.m., while Mexico takes on Cuba at 7 p.m.