EAST HARTFORD, March 27 – It may be spring. But the U.S. men’s soccer team came away with a legendary victory over Costa Rica on March 22 with a 1-0 victory in a World Cup qualifying match played in Denver in the midst of a raging snowstorm.
Costa Rican officials protested the game that was played in a near blizzard conditions which left several inches of snow on the ground. It was hard to see across the field and ground crews at the sold out Dick’s Sporting Goods Park continually shoveled the lines to allow the contest to continue. But FIFA held up the result.
The two teams will meet again in Costa Rica on September 6 in World Cup qualifying. But before that match, the Costa Ricans will get another shot at the U.S. on American soil but this time it will be at Rentschler Field in East Hartford in the final round of the 12th CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Tuesday, July 16 at 8 p.m.
Cuba faces Belize in the opening contest of the evening at 5:30 p.m. in East Hartford. It will be the final two matches in the round-robin portion of the tournament with the quarterfinals set to begin on July 20 in Atlanta and July 21 in Baltimore. The U.S. will be in Group C with Costa Rica, Belize and Cuba.
Additional games in the 12-team tournament on July 7-28 will be held at the Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Miami, Portland and Salt Lake City to determine the regional champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The Americans have won the Gold Cup four times, including 2005 and 2007. Mexico has won six times, including the last two tournaments in 2009 and 2011. The tournament is held every two years.
“Good teams find ways to win games, and that’s what we did,” American forward Herculez Gomez said. “We grinded out a result because it wasn’t very hard to see that conditions were pretty bad and it was pretty difficult to play actual soccer but we found a way.”
“When the going got tough, we stuck together,” Gomez said. “We didn’t point fingers, we didn’t blame, we were intense with each other and we knew that it would take all of us to get the good out of this.”
U.S. goalie Brad Guzan made five saves against Costa Rica. The guys in front of me did a good job of limiting their opportunities. The credit goes to them for sure,” he said.
2013 CONCACAF GOLD CUP™
GROUP A: Mexico, Panama, Canada, Martinique
GROUP B: Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti
GROUP C: USA, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba
(local time followed by EDT time)
Sunday, July 7 – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
Canada vs. Martinique, 2:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. EDT)
Mexico vs. Panama, 5:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. EDT)
Monday, July 8 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
El Salvador vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 7 p.m.
Haiti vs. Honduras, 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9 – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, OR)
Costa Rica vs. Cuba, 5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EDT)
Belize vs. USA, 8 p.m. (11 p.m. EDT)
Thursday, July 11 – CenturyLink Field (Seattle, WA)
Panama vs. Martinique, 5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EDT)
Mexico vs. Canada, 8 p.m. (11 p.m. EDT)
Friday, July 12 – Sun Life Stadium (Miami, FL)
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Haiti, 7 p.m.
Honduras vs. El Salvador, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Salt Lake City, UT)
USA vs. Cuba, 1:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. EDT)
Costa Rica vs. Belize, 4:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. EDT)
Sunday, July 14 – Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)
Martinique vs. Mexico, 1:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. EDT)
Panama vs. Canada, 4:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. EDT)
Monday, July 15 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, TX)
El Salvador vs. Haiti, 6 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT)
Honduras vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. EDT)
Tuesday, July 16 – Rentschler Field (Hartford, CT)
Cuba vs. Belize, 5:30 p.m.
USA vs. Costa Rica, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 20 – Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)
Group A runner-up vs. Group B runner-up, TBD (x)
Group A winner vs. Group B/C third-place, TBD (x)
x-matches scheduled for 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT with order TBD
Sunday, July 21 – M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD)
Group B winner vs. Group C runner-up, TBD (y)
Group C winner vs. Group A/B third place, TBD (y)
y-matches scheduled for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT) with order TBD
Wednesday, July 24 – Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
X quarterfinal winners, TBD (z)
Y quarterfinal winners, TBD (z)
z-matches scheduled for 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. local (7 p.m. and 10 p.m. EDT) with order TBD
Sunday, July 28- Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m. (4 p.m. EDT)