Fair draw!

Reggae Boyz kick off Gold Cup campaign at home to Honduras

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Two-time beaten finalists Jamaica will open their 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup campaign against Group C top seed Honduras here inside the National Stadium on Monday, June 17 in the second game of a double header at 8:00 pm.

The evening's other game will feature Concacaf and El Salvador at 6:00 pm.

The Jamaicans will oppose El Salvador at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Friday, June 21, and complete Group C play against Curacao at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday, June 25.

Concacaf yesterday announced the groups and schedule for its 2019 Gold Cup, with details unveiled at an event hosted at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles in the presence of the participating head coaches, including Jamaica's Theodore Whitmore and Manager Roy Simpson, as well as football personalities, city dignitaries, and confederation officials.

Whitmore was satisfied with the draw. “Well, I would say it's a fair enough draw, the only difference from the 2017 Gold Cup draw is Honduras, as we played against El Salvador and Curacao in the group stage then,” he said.

“We have Honduras at home so we are looking forward to starting on a positive note. We want to take it one game at a time, our first game is against Honduras and we will have to get by that hurdle. It is a step-by-step process and we can't think about the final, we have to think about Honduras, and if we want to be in the final we have to beat Honduras,” he added.

As part of the event, the confederation held Concacaf NextPlay, a grass roots development initiative, consisting of a training exercise from Concacaf officials for coaches to deliver the NextPlay methodology in their local communities. The programme is focused on utilising the game to create safe spaces, while promoting social values. After the coaches' training a football clinic for boys and girls took place at the Banc of California Stadium.

Inspired by the diverse communities served by the organisation, as well as its mission and values, Concacaf NextPlay emphasises the confederation's commitment to social responsibility by promoting access to football within the region, while leveraging the power of the game to drive social change.

“The love for football is demonstrated with every passing edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup,” said Concacaf President Victor Montagliani. “Bringing the 16-team Gold Cup to Costa Rica, Jamaica and the United States is a watershed moment for football in our confederation. This 15th edition will make the tournament more competitive and compelling for players and fans, while showcasing our region's unity, passion for football, and talent on the field.”

The 15th edition of the continental championship kicks off on Saturday, June 15 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with Canada and Martinique marking the start of Group A action. The second match of the day will feature a match-up between seven-time Gold Cup champions Mexico and Cuba.

As part of this expanded format of the tournament, Group B will debut in the tournament on Sunday, June 16, in Costa Rica's Estadio Nacional, marking the first-time the tournament is played in Central America. Costa Rica and Nicaragua will face-off in Group B's evening match, while Haiti and Bermuda will open the day's double-header.

Group D will see the United States begin their title defence in Minnesota's Allianz Field against Guyana, who will be making their Gold Cup debut, while Panama take on Trinidad and Tobago.

In the knockout rounds, Houston's NRG Stadium and Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field will host two quarter-final matches each, on June 29 and 30, respectively. The winning teams will move on to State Farm Stadium in Phoenix and Nissan Stadium in Nashville for the semi-finals, with the grand final set to be played on July 7 at Chicago's iconic Soldier Field.

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