April 11, 2019 / 12:04 AM / 13 days ago

Soccer-U.S handed chance for revenge in Gold Cup draw

April 10 (Reuters) - Hosts and defending champions the United States were handed the chance to extract a measure of revenge for missing out on the 2018 World Cup when they were grouped with Panama and Trinidad and Tobago in the draw for this year’s Gold Cup on Wednesday.

Panama beat Costa Rica 2-1 on the last day of qualifying for Russia 2018, and that result, combined with a loss in Trinidad for the U.S., sent the Central Americans off to their first World Cup. The U.S. were absent for the first time since 1986.

Guyana, one of two nations making their debut in the continental competition, will complete Group D, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) said.

In the other groups announced in Los Angeles, Costa Rica were drawn with Haiti, Nicaragua and debutants Bermuda in Group B, while seeds Honduras are in Group C along with Jamaica, El Salvador and Curacao.

Group A features seven-times champions Mexico, Canada, Martinique and Cuba.

The continental championship will kick off in Pasadena on June 15 with a double header of Canada v Martinique and Mexico v Cuba. The final will be played in Chicago on July 7.

This year’s tournament has been expanded from 12 to 16 teams and for the first time since it began in 1991 three different nations will host games, with Jamaica and Costa Rica featuring as co-hosts alongside the United States. (Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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