The United States begin their Concacaf Gold Cup title defense on Saturday, starting their Group A slate with a showdown vs. Jamaica at Solider Field.
The Yanks, who won the 2021 Gold Cup over Mexico, are hoping to lift a second regional title this summer under interim head coach B.J. Callaghan. They’re fresh off a 2023 Concacaf Nations League crown, utilizing a European-heavy roster for that window before shifting to an MLS-heavy roster for the Gold Cup.
Each group’s top two teams will advance to the knockout rounds, coalescing with a July 16 final at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Opportunity is the theme of the USMNT’s Gold Cup roster, with goalkeeper Matt Turner, center back Miles Robinson and winger Alex Zendejas part of a limited collection of holdovers from last weekend’s Nations League crew.
The MLS youth crowd is led by LA Galaxy center back Jalen Neal, New York Red Bulls left back John Tolkin, Columbus Crew midfielder Aidan Morris and San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell. Can they break into the first team picture in the buildup to the US co-hosting the 2026 World Cup?
The USMNT are seeking a record-tying eighth confederation championship this summer, equaling Mexico if they reach that mark. Getting there means replicating their 2021 successes, when two different squads were utilized to bring home regional silverware.
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One important note: Gregg Berhalter, recently re-hired as the USMNT’s head coach after a six-month hiatus, won’t oversee the Gold Cup. Callaghan is still at the helm, hoping to keep his perfect record intact.
Jamaica may be a favorite to win the Gold Cup considering the top-tier talent they’ve brought. Their forward line includes three Premier League players in Leon Bailey (Aston Villa), Michail Antonio (West Ham) and Demarai Gray (Everton), the latter of whom is looking to make his debut. Fulham midfielder Bobby Decordova-Reid and Brentford center back Ethan Pinnock are also EPL mainstays.
That group will hope to spark the Reggae Boyz, who are winless in their last 10 matches (0W-5L-5D) dating back more than a year. That all follows an unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign, when they finished sixth in the Concacaf final table.
Jamaica manager Heimir Hallgrimsson, who directed Iceland at the 2018 World Cup, took over in September 2022. He’s called in five MLS players who bring plenty of experience, most notably Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.
While the Americans have recorded a 6W-1L-0D mark against Jamaica at the Gold Cup, a positive result is far from guaranteed.