The CONCACAF Gold Cup gets underway on Saturday evening out in America which translates to the early hours of Sunday morning UK time and it begins with the hosts USA starting their title defence against Jamaica in Group A.
These are the two best teams in Group A on the seeding so the winners here will be nicely positioned to come out of the group in top spot but all won’t be lost for the losing team which should hopefully lead to an open game.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on Viaplay Sports 1 in the UK with the relatively short build-up beginning at 2.20am and kick off slated for 2.30am.
A week on from landing the CONCACAF Nations League title, USA are back in action looking for a positive start to the defence of their Gold Cup crown. This is an interesting time for the USA with them beginning the lead up to a 2026 World Cup which they will co-host but with them having a few issues within the coaching ranks. They surprised everyone recently by going back to Gregg Berhalter after claims against him after the World Cup in Qatar and that might apply some pressure to them.
USA have a deep talent pool to pick from and they are utilising that in this tournament with a number of established stars, who were used to win the Nations League last week, left out of the squad for this one and some of those who might be more at the fore in 2026 which you would imagine will be a real big event for USA. With Lionel Messi about to grace their domestic league this is a high profile time for USA.
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Given that the three big guns in CONCACAF will automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup as co-hosts this feels like a big three-year period for Jamaica. The Reggae Boyz will never get a better chance to grace the world stage than they will for the next World Cup and they will be keen to lead into the qualifiers for that tournament with a big run here. They have recruited plenty of top level talent in recent years but haven’t really delivered in the way of results.
When the likes of Michail Antonio, Demarai Gray and Bobby Decordova-Reid are recruited to an international team it should be one of the leading lights in this part of the world and they have a chance to show that potential in this opener. I think it is fair to say the build-up for Jamaica hasn’t been great but they were without their Premier League players for the two recent friendlies so how much we can take from those remains to be seen.
This will be an interesting match between two sides who will be looking to prove themselves. The USA XI will be looking to force their way into what could be classed as their strongest side while the Jamaica players will be out to show that their nation can be a force in this region once again. I expect a bit of an open game here. Neither team has too much to lose in this one but both have the chance to lay a bit of a marker down for what really does look a wide open tournament.
While USA have given the likes of Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Folarin Balogun, Brendan Aaronsen and Timothy Weah among others this tournament off, in Brandon Vazquez, Jesus Ferreira and Jordan Morris there are still goals in this USA side but without their strongest players at the back you wonder if they will keep them out against a Jamaica side who could field a Premier League front three here. Jamaica might have Andre Blake in goal but they don’t keep many clean sheets, registering one shutout in their last 22 matches. With quality at the other end of the pitch I expect Jamaica to score here and quite like the odds against on both teams to score.
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