As part of the country’s summer of soccer, which includes hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Pan American Games, the Gold Cup is set to make its Canada debut. The Canadians are slated to face Costa Rica on July 14 at Toronto’s BMO Field, hoping the home crowd lifts them past the group stage for the first time since 2009.
As a co-host/automatic North American entrant, Canada will be competing in the Gold Cup for a 12th time in 13 attempts. Other than the United States and Mexico, it is the only country to win the continental competition, taking home the trophy with a 2-0 win over Colombia in the 2000 final. That year, the Maple Leafs reached the knockout round via a coin-toss tie-breaker with Korea Republic and stunned three-time defending champion Mexico in the quarterfinals (2-1).
Coached by former Real Madrid manager Benito Floro, Canada boasts a solid mix of veteran and youth players. Attacker Simeon Jackson (28) struck for a hat-trick in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against St. Lucia, while midfielder Maxim Tissot (23) — who made his senior national team debut in a friendly against Iceland in January — helped lead the Impact de Montreal to the 2014/15 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final. A pair 20-year-olds — forward Cyle Larin and midfielder Samuel Piette – will look to establish their international credentials.
Canada advanced to the third round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by defeating Dominica (agg: 6-0 … 1st leg: 2-0 away win; 2nd leg: 4-0 home win) in June. Tosaint Ricketts and Larin each netted two goals in the series.
Trinidad & Tobago
PPL Park, a state-of-the-art 18,500-seat Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium, serves as home to Philadelphia Union. Since opening its doors on June 27, 2010, it has hosted numerous events for multiple sports. In October 2014, the CONCACAF Women’s Championship finals were held there as the United States, Costa Rica and Mexico earned berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Two years earlier, the MLS All-Stars squared off against English-power Chelsea before a crowd of 19,236. PPL Park has been recognized on multiple occasions, winning awards from Mid Atlantic Construction Magazine for “Best Sports/Recreation Project of the Year,” the Delaware County Planning Commission for outstanding land projects in the County and the NCS4 Facility Achievement Award that honors venues that excel in safety and security operations.
City: Chester, Pennsylvania
Past Gold Cups:first-time venue
Field Size: 120 x 75