Canada will open this summer's Gold Cup in Toronto against a yet-to-be decided qualifying team before heading to Houston to complete Group D play against Guatemala and Cuba.
The 47th-ranked Canada men will play one of Guadeloupe, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Grenada on June 27 at BMO Field. Unranked Guadeloupe plays No. 104 Trinidad and Tobago while No. 170 Guyana meets No. 175 Grenada with the two winners facing off in qualifying play to see who joins Group D.
The Canadians will then fly to Texas to take on No. 116 Guatemala on July 1 and Cuba on July 4 with both games at Shell Energy Stadium, home to the Houston Dynamo and Dash.
The degree of difficulty increases significantly in the July 9 quarterfinals with the top two teams in Group D crossing over to face the top two from Group A, which is made up of the 13th-ranked U.S., No. 63 Jamaica, No. 140 Nicaragua and a qualifier.
Those advancing from Canada's group will play their quarterfinals at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati. The venue is one of four new to the tournament, with the others being CITYPARK in St. Louis, Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego and SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., which will host the final.
The 17th edition of CONCACAF's flagship competition for men's national teams runs June 16 to July 16 across 15 stadiums in 14 cities. BMO Field is the only Canadian stop and that's for one match.
The tournament opens with a 12-team qualifying competition June 16-20 that will fill the final three berths in the 16-country tournament.
Canada was one of four seeded teams in the recent Gold Cup draw, meaning it was kept away from the U.S., No. 15 Mexico and No. 39 Costa Rica.
The Canadian men will take part in the CONCACAF Nations League final four June 15-18 in Las Vegas ahead of the Gold Cup. They take on No. 58 Panama in one semifinal while the U.S. faces Mexico in the other.
Canada coach John Herdman says he will call up one squad for both competitions, likely keeping an extended roster ready to go given some players may need time off after their club seasons.
The Nations League winner will earn US$1 million in prize money while the Gold Cup title comes with some US$1.9 million.
The three-tiered Nations League served as a Gold Cup qualifier, with the top two teams in each of the four League A groups booking their ticket. Canada qualified as Group C winner, along with Honduras, joining the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica.
Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Cuba qualified by winning their pools in League B.
Canada has staged Gold Cup games just once before — in 2015 when BMO Field hosted a group-stage doubleheader that saw Canada tie Costa Rica 0-0 and Jamaica edge El Salvador 1-0.
The Canadian men have not lost at BMO Field since September 2010 when they were beaten 2-0 by Peru. Canada has gone 15-0-6 at the lakefront stadium since, outscoring the opposition 54-6.
Mexico has won the Gold Cup eight times, compared to seven for the defending champion U.S.
Canada won in 2000, defeating Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago in the knockout rounds before dispatching Colombia 2-0 in the final at Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2023
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press