This post originally went up on March 13. I've updated it with new details about TV broadcast information, and have brought it back to the top of the blog as a result.
CONCACAF, North American soccer's governing body, has released the schedule of games for this summer's Gold Cup.
The United States will be in a group with Belize, Costa Rica and Cuba. That should be an easy enough group to advance from, but having the final group stage game against the Ticos wil be tricky.
(Click here to see the U.S. roster. It includes Union forward Jack McInerney.)
Should the United States advance, its quarterfinal matchup will almost certainly be in Baltimore. That's the closest the team will come to Philadelphia.
Both semifinals will be at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas, and the championship game will be at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The way the draw breaks down, the U.S. would not face perennial rival Mexico until the championship game. That's how CONCACAF wants it (and I think we'd all agree that's how it should be).
Fox Sports (in English) and Univision (in Spanish) are the Gold Cup's U.S. TV rights holders. Fox will put most of the games on Fox Soccer Channel, which you'd expect. But here's a nice surprise: three games will air on Fox's main over-the-air network. That's a big step up in coverage.
Games scheduled for the main Fox network include the U.S.' July 13 group stage game vs. Cuba, a July 21 quarterfinal that should have the U.S. in it, and the July 28 championship game regardless of who's playing.
The Cuba game will be the men's national team's first appearance on English-language network television outside of a World Cup since May 19, 2002.
Gus Johnson will feature prominently among Fox's on-air talent, calling all of the games that will air on the main network. He's also scheduled to call Mexico-Panama at the Rose Bowl on the tournament's opening night.
Fox's other play-by-play voices will include John Strong, who recently joined NBC Sports Network as its lead MLS play-by-play voice; and Philadelphia Union broadcaster J.P. Dellacamera. Both men have worked with Fox many times in the past.
The network did not confirm exactly which games Strong and Dellacamera will call, except to say that they'll each have one semifinal in the July 24 doubleheader at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It's my understanding, though, that Dellacamera will call the other two U.S. group games.
Former U.S. national team stars Cobi Jones and Brian McBride will serve as color analysts. The studio crew will be Fox's veteran threesome of Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda and Warren Barton. Former U.S. women's national team defender and current Union sideline reporter Heather Mitts will make some cameo appearances.
Each doubleheader broadcast will include a 30-minute pregame show as well as a bridge show between games. In addition, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl will be traveling with the U.S. national team and reporting for Fox hroughout the tournament.
Univision will spread games across its main network, UniMás and Univision Deportes. The latter channel will carry live simulcasts of every game on Univision and UniMás. Univision Deportes is carried on DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse.
Expect the usual array of talent to be on air: host Fernando Fiore, play-by-play voices Pablo Ramírez and Jorge Pérez-Navarro, and color analysts Jesús Bracamontes, Diego Balado and Iván Kasanzew, among others.
Games will also be streamed online via the networks' respective websites. Univision's streams will be available free of charge to anyone in the United States and Puerto Rico. I'd be surprised if Fox brings down the Fox Soccer 2 Go paywall, but I wouldn't put it past them as a way of getting more attention for the tournament.
Group A: Canada, Martinique, Mexico, Panama
Sunday, July 7: Canada vs. Martinique (5:30 p.m., Fox Soccer/Univision) and Mexico vs. Panama (8:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/Univision) at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Thursday, July 11: Panama vs. Martinique (8:30 p.m., Fox Soccer/UniMás) and Mexico vs. Canada (11:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/UniMás) at CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
Sunday, July 14: Panama vs. Canada (3:30 p.m., Fox Soccer/Univision) and Martinique vs. Mexico (6:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/Univision) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.
Group B: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago
Monday, July 8: El Salvador vs. Trinidad and Tobago (7:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/Unvision Deportes) and Haiti vs. Honduras (9:30 p.m., Fox Soccer/Unvision Deportes) at Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Friday, July 12: Trinidad and Tobago vs. Haiti (7:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/UniMás) and Honduras vs. El Salvador (9:30 p.m. Fox Soccer/UniMás) at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Monday, July 15: El Salvador vs. Haiti (7:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/UniMás) and Honduras vs. Trinidad & Tobago (9:30 p.m. Fox Soccer/UniMás) at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Group C: Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, United States
Tuesday, July 9: Costa Rica vs. Cuba (8:30 p.m., Fox Soccer/UniMás) and Belize vs. United States (11:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/UniMás) at JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Ore.
Saturday, July 13: United States vs. Cuba (3:30 p.m., Fox/Univision) and Costa Rica vs. Belize (6:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/Univision) at Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Tuesday, July 16: Cuba vs. Belize (5:30 p.m., Fox Soccer/Univision Deportes) and United States vs. Costa Rica (8:00 p.m., Fox Soccer/UniMás) at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn.
Saturday, July 20: A2 vs. B2 and A1 vs. B3 or C3 at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga. (3:00 and 6:00 p.m., order of games TBD; both games on Fox Soccer and Univision)
Sunday, July 21: B1 vs. C2 and C1 vs. A3 or B3 at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md. (4:00 and 7:00 p.m., order of games TBD; Fox/Univision for the U.S. game, Fox Soccer/Univision for the other; Fox Soccer will air both if the U.S. doesn't qualify)
Wednesday, July 24: Winner of Quarterfinal 3 vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 4 and Winner of Quarterfinal 1 vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 2 at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas (7:00 and 10:00 p.m., order of games TBD; Fox Soccer/UniMás)
Sunday, July 28: Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2 (4:00 p.m.) at Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill. (Fox/Univision)