As a reminder of what is on the line here in the Gold Cup. Outside of winning the Gold Cup and being the Concacaf Champion, the winner of the 2015 Gold Cup will play the winner of the 2013 Gold Cup (USA) for a berth in the Confederations Cup in Russia 2017.
In addition the Gold Cup is the de facto first stage of qualifying for 2016 Copa América Centenario. USA (automatic qualifier and potential host), Mexico (automatic qualifier), Jamaica (2014 Caribbean Cup winners) and Costa Rica (2014 Copa Centroamericana winners) have already qualified for the tournament. The next four teams from the Gold Cup will enter a playoff for the last two spots in the 2016 Copa América Centenario. There is still some doubt as to if the tournament is going to take place, but if it does go through then the qualifying mechanism expects to be unchanged.
Costa Rica v Jamaica
With traditional Concacaf powers the USA in Group A and Mexico in Group C, Costa Rica is the seeded team in Group B. The Ticos will look to continue their strong quarterfinal run from the World Cup Brazil 2014 in the Gold Cup but with a new manager as Paulo Wanchope has replaced Jorge Luis Pinto. The last two Gold Cups have seen Costa Rica advance from the group stage but lose in the quarterfinals.
Jamaica enters the Gold Cup in some disarray with a pay dispute leading to an impromptu player strike that saw the team boycott Monday's training. The dispute has been resolved and the match will proceed as planned.
El Salvador v Canada
With Costa Rica the group B favorites and Jamaica a participant in the final round of World Cup qualifying in the last cycle (The Hex), they are the presumed favorites to advance in Group B. Thus the opening game for El Salvador and Canada is more important that most openers. A loss here would put the losing team in a very deep hole.
Cyle Larin is the early favorite for MLS rookie of the year and leads the line for Canada. The Orlando City SC striker and number 1 pick in the 2015 MLS Super Draft has been very good for Orlando and looks to continue his club form into the Gold Cup. A familiar name in the Whitecaps Russell Teibert should provide Larin service.
Both teams recently partook in FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying via Concacaf's second round of qualifiers. Canada made light work of Dominica with a 2-0 away win followed by a 4-0 home win while El Salvador relatively struggled with Saint Kitts and Nevis. El Salvador needed a late goal to secure a 2-2 away draw then netted three second half goals for a flattering 4-1 home win and a 6-3 aggregate win over the 114th FIFA ranked island nation.
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