The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is underway after group stage play began on July 7, featuring a 1-1 draw between Panama and Haiti, and a 2-1 USA victory over Honduras. On the following day, Costa Rica and Jamaica played to an entertaining 2-2 draw, while goals were hard to come by in the 0-0 draw between El Salvador and Canada. Group stage matches will run through July 15.
On Thursday, the focus of the competition turns towards Chicago, Illinois as the home of the Chicago Bears, Soldier Field, will play host to two Gold Cup games this evening. Trinidad takes on Guatemala at 7 p.m. ET, and Mexico vs. Cuba follows at 9:30 pm ET to kick off the action in Group C. Gold Cup tickets on the secondary market have an average price of $121.30 and a get-in price of $45, according to SeatSmart.com. The matches on July 9 actually have the second-highest average ticket price in the first week of action, only behind the opening day’s two contests that included the United States at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. One ticket purchased for admittance into Soldier Field allows fans to see both games.
Hipmunk.com can get soccer fans from anywhere inside their seats at Soldier Field by reserving flights to Chicago for two Gold Cup matches. Along with flights, Hipmunk has available Chicago hotels starting from $109 to be the one-stop shop for anyone looking to attend Gold Cup matches. Fans in the Chicago area can find Navy Pier parking for as low as $13 through ParkWhiz.com.
Goals will be hard to come by in the first contest, as Trinidad and Tobago have four losses and one draw in their last five matches. Trinidad and Tobago haven’t scored a goal during international competition in the last 450 minutes, which dates all the back to November in a match during the Caribbean Cup. Guatemala hasn’t fared much better, playing in some lopsided contests recently.
In a Gold Cup tune-up, Guatemala lost 4-0 to the United States after playing two consecutive contests against Bermuda. Guatemala scored one goal in both of those games combined, before losing their previous two contests by scores of 5-1 and 3-0 against Uruguay and Mexico, respectively.
Mexico is going into their clash against Cuba with two key injuries, one being to their star player Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Hernandez broke his collarbone in the final tune-up with Honduras on the Friday before the tournament, and the other injured player, Hector Moreno, is having issues with his foot. He’s a key player on this squad, considering he played in all four games for Mexico during the most recent World Cup.
Cuba, too, is in a state of disarray as a couple of players have already been dismissed before the tournament, not to mention having some travel issues, as they won’t arrive in Chicago until the day of the game. They’ll need to overcome these obstacles if they want to have a shot at picking up the big victory.