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USA opens on July 4 in Seattle
by Paul Kennedy, April 3rd, 2009 7AM

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[GOLD CUP] The USA opens play at the 2009 Gold Cup on July 4 against Grenada at Qwest Field in Seattle. It also faces Honduras in Washington, D.C., on July 8 and Haiti at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on July 11. The Honduras match comes a little more than a month after the USA faces the Catrachos in World Cup 2010 qualifying in Chicago. The Gold Cup follows a busy June for the USA, which is also playing at the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

GRENADA. The USA beat the Spice Boyz twice (3-0 and 3-2) in the second round of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.

Qualifying:
Grenada will be participating at the Gold Cup for the first time. It surprised Trinidad & Tobago at the Digicel Caribbean Championship to claim one of the four Caribbean berths in the finals.

Star:
Shalrie Joseph -- opted to play for his native Grenada after immigrating to Brooklyn. Arguably the best midfielder in MLS over the last five seasons with New England.

HONDURAS. The meeting at RFK Stadium will be a rematch of the World Cup qualifying match between the USA and Honduras in 2001 -- when the Catrachos handed the USA its only loss in a home qualifier in more than 20 years, winning, 3-2, before a capacity crowd dominated by Bicolor supporters. The USA has beaten Honduras all three times they have met at the Gold Cup, including the shootout victory in the final of the inaugural tournament in 1991.

Qualifying:
Honduras hosted and won its group at the 2009 Digicel Uncaf Cup to qualify for the Gold Cup. It later fell to Panama in the semifinals.

Star:
Carlos Pavon -- the former Los Angeles Galaxy striker scored his 51st international goal for the Catrachos in their 3-1 win over Mexico on Wednesday that moved them into third place in the Hexagonal.

HAITI. Haiti is one of two teams in CONCACAF to have a winning record against the United States, holding a 6-5-4 advantage. The USA and Haiti have met once before at the Gold Cup. The USA won, 3-0, in 2000.

Qualifying:
Haiti finished third in its group at the Digicel Caribbean Championship but replaced Cuba, which withdrew. (Cuba has been rocked by defections on its recent forays to the Gold Cup in the United States.)

Star:
Jean Michael Boucicaut -- the 27-year-old striker is well-traveled, having played in MLS (Chicago and Colorado), Colombia and Mexico before returning to Haiti, where he plays for Violette. He scored Haiti's goal in its 1-1 tie with the USA in a 2004 friendly.

 



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