More Gold Cup

Seriously, this is the last time I'm going to post on the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup till April at least.

But the items I found today were simply too good to pass up. First, Jeff Carlisle continued his impressive work on soccer in the CONCACAF region with a quick overview of what to expect in the tourney. I learned two things from this one. First:

"The Americans will play their three group games in a span of just six days, with a scant 42 hours separating the conclusion of their opener against Guatemala on June 7 and the beginning of their second match against Trinidad and Tobago."

I've seen the schedule I don't know how many times by now, but never caught that. My only reaction is, "Whaaaa?"

The second piece is just something I agree with (evidence):

"Mexico's adversaries in Group C -- Honduras, Panama and Cuba -- make for a slightly more difficult trio [than the U.S.'s Group B], given that in 2005, Honduras and Panama made it to the semifinals and final, respectively."

This being CONCACAF, we don't do "groups of death," so let's call this "The Group of Debilitating Heartburn." Still, I believe Group C should have the better-played matches this summer.

The "Writers' Roundtable" posted on takes us back to local - that is, Group B - concerns. And credit to Ian Plenderleith for this solid, and by no means obvious, observation:

"They could hardly have asked for an easier one, that's for sure, unless they'd swapped Guadeloupe for T&T. It's good in the sense that it will give whoever is coach the chance to experiment with some players a little in the group stage. They should have no excuse for not winning all three games."

Yep. Switch 'em up often as we need to. Winning this tournament should be our priority and, given the brutal scheduling, squad rotation is just going to have to happen. Like all the guys in the Roundtable, I think we're strong enough to pull this off.


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