Los Angeles Soccer: Cuba
December, 16, 2010
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
We knew we were getting the final. Turns out only one other date at next summer's Gold Cup will be played in Southern California.
CONCACAF's urge to spread its nations championship to many sites has left Angelenos just two viewing options: A June 6 opener at Home Depot Center -- it'll be a doubleheader -- and the June 25 title game at the Rose Bowl.
No clue on who will be playing -- seven of 12 qualifiers have been determined and the draw will be held in early February -- but odds are it will be the U.S. and Mexico in the championship encounter.
The U.S. beat Mexico, 2-1, in the 2007 final in Chicago, and Mexico routed the U.S., 5-0, in the 2009 title game in East Rutherford, N.J.
Quarterfinals will be played in East Rutherford and Washington and semifinals in Houston. In all, 13 venues will stage games.
This will be the ninth time in 11 tournaments since the current format was adopted in 1991 that games will be played in Southern California. Five of the first six finals were played at the Rose Bowl or Coliseum, but next year's will be the first since 2002, when the U.S. beat Costa Rica at the Rose Bowl.
Home Depot Center has been the only So Cal venue in the past three competitions.
The U.S., Mexico and Canada automatically are entered into the tournament, and Jamaica, Cuba, Grenada and Guadeloupe qualified from the Caribbean Championship. Five Central American nations will emerge from the Jan. 14-23 Copa Centroamericana in Panama.