T&T to face USA, Panama, Guyana in Group D of Gold Cup 2019

Trinidad and Tobago will open its 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup account against Panama in the first game of a double header on June 18th at Allianz Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  T&T will face off with hosts and defending champions United States, Guyana and Panama, it was disclosed at the Gold Cup draw announcement ceremony at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Head coach Dennis Lawrence attended along with team manager Richard Piper and media officer Shaun Fuentes with the latter two attending team workshops for managers and media on Thursday at the Westdrift Manhattan Beach hotel along with delegates of the other fifteen competing teams and Concacaf officials.

T&T faces United States as action shifts to FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland for their second round of matches on June 22 . Group play will then close with Group D’s final matchday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City on June 26  with T&T meeting Guyana and Panama facing the US.

The knockout rounds will begin on June 29 at Houston’s NRG stadium with two quarterfinal matches, while the other two quarterfinals will be played June 30 in Philadelphia.

Dennis Lawrence chats with Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore and T&T team manager Richard Piper at the Gold Cup draw announcement on Wednesday. Photo/TTFA Media.

The semifinals are set to be held July 2 in Glendale, Arizona and July 3 in Nashville, with the final set to take place July 7 in Chicago.
Group A , which features Mexico, Canada, Martinique and Cuba will open play on June 15 at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. The group’s second matchday will come on June 19 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver, with the final round of matches played June 23 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Group B , featuring Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua and Bermuda , will play its opening matches on June 16 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, with the second round of matches to be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on June 20 . The final round of matches will take place at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey on June 24 .

Group C matches will begin on June 17 , with Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador and Curacao all taking the field in Kingston, Jamaica at Independence Park. The group will move to BBVA Compass Stadium Houston for the second round of matches on June 24 while Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles will host the third round of matches on June 25 .

Lawrence in an immediate reaction at the Banc of California stadium told TTFA Media “It’s all exciting because we’ve been waiting to find out who was going to be our opposition in the Gold Cup. We know it wasn’t going to be easy because they are all very good teams that have qualified for the Gold Cup.  It’s an interesting one.”

“I knew it was going to happen because it is what was meant to be,” he said of the USA fixture. “As I said before, when you go into any major tournament I think if you want to win the tournament you have to probably beat some of the better teams and USA are one of the best, so we are looking forward to it. They’ll be excited about it and it’s going to be a full house when we play the US because they will have the fans behind them and hopefully a few Trinidadian fans will turn out.

Dennis Lawrence with the head coaches of fellow Group D teams, Michael Johnson of Guyana (second from right), Julio Dely Valdez of Panama and USA’s Gregg Berhalter alongside Guyana’s technical director Ian Greenwood. Photo/TTFA Media.

As to what his squad of players can anticipate at  Concacaf’s Premier event, Lawrence said,”They are going to look forward to an exciting tournament. It’s the biggest in the Concacaf region. It’s like our World Cup and the players should be excited about it and excited about turning up in a tournament, representing Trinidad and Tobago and doing well. I think they need to just embrace the moment when it comes and go out and just try and do their best.

Regarding his preparations schedule between now and the opening game on June 18th against Panama, Lawrence added, “The idea is to try and have some training with the local group because obviously that remains a major concern for us in the absence of the league. We need to try and prepare some of the local players to get them ready and  give them a chance to try and make the Gold Cup squad. That is prominent on my mind at the moment and is a bit of a concern so we are working on that. Then going into the Japan and the Venezuela games if you look at the date of our first game I think the Japan game is coming at a good time.. it gives us enough time to recover after the (Japan) game.”

Concacaf President Victor Montagliani said at the start of proceedings, “The love for football is demonstrated with every passing edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup,” said “Bringing the 16-team Gold Cup to Costa Rica, Jamaica and the United States is a watershed moment for football in our Confederation. This 15th edition will make the tournament more competitive and compelling for players and fans, while showcasing our region’s unity, passion for football and talent on the field.”

The 2019 Gold Cup will be the biggest-ever edition of the event, with more participating nations (16 up from 12 in 2017), more host countries (three, including first-time matches in Costa Rica and Jamaica, and more stadiums (17 up from 14 in 2017, eight of which are in contention to become a 2026 FIFA World Cup venue).

The 15th edition of the continental championship will kick off on Saturday, June 15 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with Canada and Martinique marking the start of Group A action. The second match of the day will feature a matchup between seven-time Gold Cup champions Mexico and Cuba.

2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Match Schedule
*Local time and order of the matches subject to change

Saturday, June 15 – Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (Group A)
4:30 pm Canada v Martinique
6:30 pm Mexico v Cuba

Sunday, June 16 – Estadio Nacional, San José, Costa Rica (Group B)
4:00 pm Haiti v Bermuda
6:00 pm Costa Rica v Nicaragua

Monday, June 17 – Independence Park, Kingston, Jamaica (Group C)
6:00 pm Curaçao v El Salvador
8:00 pm Jamaica v Honduras

Tuesday, June 18 – Allianz Field, St. Paul, MN (Group D)
6:30 pm Panama v Trinidad and Tobago
8:30 pm USA v Guyana

Wednesday, June 19 – Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, CO (Group A)
6:00 pm Cuba v Martinique
8:00 pm Mexico v Canada

Thursday, June 20 – Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX (Group B)
6:00 pm Nicaragua v Haiti
8:00 pm Costa Rica v Bermuda

Friday, June 21 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX (Group C)
6:00 pm El Salvador v Jamaica
8:00 pm Honduras v Curaçao

Saturday, June 22 – FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH (Group D)
5:30 pm Guyana v Panama
7:30 pm USA v Trinidad and Tobago

Sunday, June 23 – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC (Group A)
6:00 pm Canada v Cuba
8:00 pm Martinique v Mexico

Monday, June 24 – Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ (Group B)
6:30 pm Bermuda v Nicaragua
8:30 pm Haiti v Costa Rica

Tuesday, June 25 – Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, CA (Group C)
5:00 pm Jamaica v Curaçao
7:00 pm Honduras v El Salvador

Wednesday, June 26 – Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS (Group D)
5:30 pm Trinidad and Tobago v Guyana
7:30 pm Panama v USA

Saturday, June 29 – NRG Stadium, Houston, TX 
6:00 pm QF1: 1B v 2A
8:30 pm QF2: 1A v 2B

Sunday, June 30 – Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA 
5:30 pm QF3: 1C v 2D
8:00 pm QF4: 1D v 2C

Tuesday, July 2 – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
7:00 pm SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2

Wednesday, July 3 – Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
8:00 pm SF2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Sunday, July 7– Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
8:00 pm F: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2