The CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal match-ups are set. Only eight teams remain. Let's check them out:
July 19: Costa Rica vs. Panama
Time: 6:00 p.m. EST
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: FOX Sports 1, Univision
Match-up: Costa Rica finished first in Group A, and Panama finished second in Group B. Costa Rica thrives on an organized defense and the creativity of Benfica midfielder Bryan Ruiz on offense. Panama's top players include Porto forward Ismail Diaz and NYCFC midfielder Miguel Camargo.
Mexico managed to top Group C at the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 2-0 victory over Curacao and a 1-1 draw between Jamaica and El Salvador.
Mexico didn't have it easy, though. Jesus Corona was called into action early, and made a fine save to prevent Curacao from going ahead.
It is now time to take the CONCACAF Gold Cup seriously. A Gold Cup rule allows managers to make up to six changes between the group and knockout stages, and USMNT manager Bruce Arena is bringing in his all-time leading goalscorer, his number one goalkeeper, his captain, his top striker and Darlington Nagbe, who's probably the best player of the bunch.
In an absurd first for major international tournaments (so you know it’s coming by way of the CONCACAF Gold Cup), a competing nation has knowingly and willingly knocked itself out of the competition.
Did that game even exist? Do I even exist?
Gary Lineker once said soccer is a simple game, 22 men chase a ball around the field and in the end the Germans win.
The Germans weren't at the CONCACAF Gold Cup match between Mexico and Jamaica, so in the end nobody won. Instead, 22 men chased a ball around a field and really that was it. Not much happened. Cubo Torres banged a header off the post and many players from both sides fell down holding their faces. And that was it.
The United States has hosted the last seven CONCACAF Gold Cups, which you'd believe would provide the USMNT with a significant home field advantage. However, attendance figures make it clear that Mexico has the most loyal support in the States.
In the six Gold Cups dating back to 2005 (not including this year's tournament), Mexico has always drawn more fans to its matches than the USMNT. Although Mexico doesn't play as often in the U.S. as the USMNT, the differences are significant and suggest that El Tri has more dedicated fans in their rival's home turf.
Hey it's the CONCACAF Gold Cup! Fun!
No. Not fun. Not fun for people who must watch this product. The soccer is bad at the Gold Cup. Real bad. Even the USMNT, the host nation and one of the favorites, is a shadow of itself. This is a soccer wasteland.
Let's see what some of our colleagues in soccer media had to say about the USMNT's thrilling 3-2 win against Martinique:
Panama-Nicaragua was the 2017 Gold Cup in 90 minutes.
After a first half full of crap offense, crap defense took over in the second half and sparked the match to life.
Poor play on both ends typified what has been an underwhelming and CONCACAF’y Gold Cup with many of regions best players watching from home.
Ultimately, Panama pulled out a 2-1 win in what was quite literally an opening act for the USA-Martinique match.
Florent Malouda is not eligible to play for the French Guiana National Team. Malouda made 80 appearances for France from 2004-2012, and as such is not allowed to participate for any other country. CONCACAF representatives confirmed before the tournament that Malouda is not eligible to play.