Football

Gold Cup: A guide to the CONCACAF tournament

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The biggest football tournament in North, Central America and the Caribbean got underway this week and despite a slightly underwhelming set of participants, it promises to provide at least it's fair share of thrills and spills.

Here is all you need to know ahead of the competition.

As mentioned earlier, the line-up for the Gold Cup is far from star-studded with minnows like Haiti and El Salvador making up the numbers. Group A consists of United States, Panama, Haiti and Honduras.

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Group B is no more stimulating with El Salvador, Jamaica and Canada joining World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica. Mexico will be overwhelming favourites in Group C as they prepare to face Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba.

Hosts USA will begin the tournament with the pressure of the favourites tag having been victorious in the last Gold Cup in 2013. Mexico and Costa Rica are also sides to watch and Panama may also have the potential to cause an upset. 

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Players to watch

DeAndre Yedlin (USA) - Spurs' new signing could be key for the USA if they are to retain their title, the winger is quick, direct and gets some dangerous balls into the box. He looked very impressive in the friendly victory over Germany earlier in the year.

Roman Torres (Panama) - Torres was one of the stand out performers in the Colombian league for Millonarios last season and Panama will need the centre back to keep up his form if they are to hold out against the USA's strong attacking force. 

Joel Campbell (Costa Rica) - Campbell showed the world his class in last years World Cup as he helped Costa Rica to their best ever World Cup finish. Despite a difficult season on loan at Villareal in which he scored only once in 15 appearances Campbell has the ability to bully defenders and expect him to be back on form this month.

Carlos Vela (Mexico) - With Javier Hernandez out with a broken collar bone Mexico require someone to step in and lead the line and Vela is more than capable. He had an outstanding season for Real Sociedad under David Moyes and he is certainly one to watch out for. 

Garath McClearly (Jamaica) - The Reading winger has more than a trick or two in his locker but looked off-peak in this years Copa America. He will be desperate to improve on his performances and is arguably Jamaica's best talent.

Stadia

All stadia bar the BMO Field in Toronto are situated in the United States with the vast majority of games taking place on the East Coast. Capacities range from 18,500 at the Kansas City, Sports Park to 82,500 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The final will take place at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, home to the Philadelphia Eagles American football team.

Jamaica will have to travel a total distance of 2676 miles to complete their three group games with the first in Carson on the West Coast, second in Houston in the South and final game in Toronto in Southern Canada.

How to watch

Fox Sports and BT Sport have the rights to every single tournament match with kick off times ranging from 9pm to 3.30am BST. The tournament runs from the 7th to the 26th July. 

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