Rousing Gold Cup motivation has never been an issue for Mexico. After all, it has contested seven of the 12 all-time finals, finishing victorious on six occasions. In the competition’s 2015 edition, though, incentive to reclaim the trophy — after falling to Panama (2-1) in the semifinals two years ago and not reaching the final for the first time since 2005 — has wide ramifications.
If the Mexicans lift the trophy on July 26 for a record-extending seventh time, they will face the 2013 champion USA in a playoff to determine CONCACAF’s representative at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
In order to ensure being that team, Mexico is bringing a powerhouse roster north. Head coach Miguel Herrera will call upon two of the Gold Cup’s last three MVP’s – Giovani Dos Santos (2009) and Javier Hernandez (2011) – to make a clear statement of his intent. Carlos Vela is also expected to play in his first Gold Cup since 2009.
Herrera has also called in three players – goalkeeper Moises Muñoz, forward Oribe Peralta and defender Paul Aguilar – from Liga MX’s Club America, champion of the 2014/15 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL). Peralta, the 2013 CONCACAF Player of the Year, has never found the back of the net in the Gold Cup, but he is the SCCL’s second all-time leading scorer with 19 goals and netted 10 times in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Mexico is one of only two teams to participate in every Gold Cup. The other is the United States, which has lost to El Tri in four finals, including a 4-2 setback at the Rose Bowl in 2011.
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