USMNT, Mexico learn Gold Cup group stage opponents

The draw for this summer's 2023 Gold Cup has placed current champions the United States in Group A alongside Jamaica, Nicaragua and a team that has yet to be determined through a preliminary round.

Mexico, who finished second to the U.S. in the 2021 Gold Cup, were placed into Group B with Haiti, Honduras and guests Qatar.

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Elsewhere in the draw that was held on Friday in Inglewood, California's SoFi Stadium -- which is set to host the tournament's final -- Central American trio Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador will be paired in Group C with team that makes it through the preliminary rounds, while Group D will contain Canada, Guatemala, Cuba and an additional team yet to be determined.

"Overall, I'm pleased with the draw," USMNT interim head coach Anthony Hudson said. "I think Jamaica is a really tough team and our previous experience in this competition tells us that there are no easy opponents and every game is complicated. As we know, these teams are improving every year, and that's good for everyone."

Details were also revealed Friday for the qualifiers that will decide the three additional teams that will enter the group stage of the tournament.

The vacant spot in Group A will be determined by matchups between the winners of Curacao vs. St. Kitts & Nevis and French Guiana vs. Sint Maarten. In Group C, the remaining team will come from a contest between the winners of Martinique vs. St. Lucia and Suriname vs. Puerto Rico, while the winners of Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guadeloupe and Guyana vs. Grenada will compete for the final spot in Group D.

After the preliminary round from June 16-20, the 16-team group stage of the Gold Cup will begin on June 24. The top two teams from each group will move onto the knockout stage, which will consist of a quarterfinal round (July 8-9), semifinals (July 12), and a final at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, July 16.

Earlier this month, CONCACAF announced the 15 venues in 14 cities across the United States and Canada that will host this year's Gold Cup matches. The announcement was highlighted by three new stadiums -- Cincinnati's TQL Stadium, San Diego's Snapdragon Stadium and St. Louis' CityPark -- that were selected as Gold Cup venues for the first time.

A full Gold Cup schedule is expected to be announced in the coming days.

The tournament is part of a busy summer schedule for the four Gold Cup participants that will also take part in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals -- U.S. vs. Mexico and Panama vs. Canada -- on June 15 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The CONCACAF Nations League final and third place game will take place at the same venue on June 18.

The U.S. are the defending Gold Cup and CONCACAF Nations League champions. If they were to win the Gold Cup again this summer, they would match Mexico's current record of eight titles in the tournament.

Ahead of both the CONCACAF Nations League knockout round and the Gold Cup, the U.S. and Mexico will face-off in an April 19 friendly in Glendale, Arizona's State Farm Stadium. Due to the match landing in a non-FIFA window, a majority of players called up for the friendly are from MLS for the U.S. and Liga MX for Mexico.


Group A
*Winner Prelims 9

Group B

Group C
Costa Rica
El Salvador
*Winner Prelims 8

Group D
*Winner Prelims 7