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2003 Gold Cup: Arellano, McBride among tournament’s top players
It is not often that a player goes an entire tournament without scoring a goal yet still secures Golden Ball honors, but that was the case for Jesus Arellano. Such was the Mexico winger’s impact and influence on his team’s attack that he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. (Photo: Mexsport/ Concacaf)
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MIAMI, Florida – This Friday at 7:00 PM ET, Concacaf will be airing a re-broadcast of two Concacaf Gold Cup classics, the first being the 2017 Gold Cup Final between the United States and Jamaica, followed by the 2003 match between Mexico and Brazil. Both matches will be shown on Concacaf’s Facebook and YouTube pages, plus the Concacaf App.

There were many top performances from players during the 2003 Gold Cup, yet here are five who stood out among their peers.

Jesus Arellano, Mexico – It is not often that a player goes an entire tournament without scoring a goal yet still secures Golden Ball honors, but that was the case for Jesus Arellano. Such was the Mexico winger’s impact and influence on his team’s attack that he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Arellano started all five matches for Mexico and collected an assist thanks to an inch-perfect pass to Omar Bravo in what was the first Mexico goal in a 5-0 quarterfinal win over Jamaica.

 

Brian McBride, United States – The U.S. clinched a third-place finish in the 2003 Gold Cup with a big boost from Brian McBride. The U.S. FW made his presence felt during the group stage with three goals scored. McBride scored the second goal in the opening 2-0 win for the U.S. over El Salvador, and then supplied both scores in a 2-0 win over Martinique.

 

Walter Centeno, Costa Rica – As a player, Walter Centeno always had a nose for goal in the biggest of moments and he showed that in spades during the 2003 Gold Cup. The attacking midfielder finished the tournament tied with Landon Donovan of the U.S. for the most goals (four). Centeno scored the first of three Costa Rica goals in their crucial 3-0 win over Cuba in the group stage finale, followed by a sensational hat-trick in a 5-2 triumph for the Ticos against El Salvador in the quarterfinals.

 

Oswaldo Sanchez, Mexico – Winner of the tournament’s Golden Glove, one would be hard pressed to find a better display of goalkeeping than Sanchez’s during the 2003 Gold Cup. Mexico finished all five matches with zero goals allowed thanks to the efforts of their legendary shot-stopper, including a pair of clean sheets against 2002 FIFA World Cup champions Brazil.

 

Lester More, Cuba – For the first time in their Gold Cup history, Cuba managed to reach the knockout round and it could not have happened without the heroics of Lester More. The FW bagged a brace in Cuba’s 2-0 victory over Canada in the group stage, and it would prove to be the decisive result that sent the Caribbean nation to the final eight.

 
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