Ranking the USA's six Gold Cup titles isn't easy.
It's hard to beat the first one in 1991, at the first Gold Cup in Los Angeles. The USA-Mexico rivalry as week know it was born when
's boys beat El Tri, 2-0, in the semifinals.
The 2007 Gold Cup title was probably the sweetest, the only one of the six over archrival Mexico before a full house in
Chicago and with both teams at full strength.
The other four Gold Cup titles all share one thing in common. They came at pre-World Cup tournaments: 2002 in the winter before Korea/Japan,
where the USA reached the quarterfinals, and 2005, 2013 and 2017 in the summer.
The USA was already qualified for the finals in 2002 and in great shape in 2005 and 2013.
2013 Gold Cup title capped a record 13-game winning streak under Jurgen Klinsmann
but came with the USA, six points ahead of fourth-place Honduras, already almost assured of being headed the
2014 World Cup.
If the USA qualifies for the 2018 World Cup, Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Jamaica in the final will have been considered an important step in the process, a valuable
learning for Arena and his players.
But if the USA fails to qualify for Russia, the 2017 Gold Cup title will mean little. USA
Gold Cup victories: 1991: USA 0 Honduras 0 (4-3 on PKs) USA --
Meola, Caligiuri, Balboa, Doyle,
Clavijo, Quinn, Henderson, Murray (Kinnear 98), Perez, Vermes, Wynalda (Eck 71). 2002: USA 2 Costa Rica 0. USA
Keller; Hejduk, Mastroeni, Agoos, Bocanegra; Jones (West, 85), Armas, Lewis, Donovan; McBride (Mathis, 89), Wolff (Williams, 79). 2005: USA 0 Panama 0 (3-1 on PKs) USA --
Keller; Hejduk, Conrad, Onyewu, Vanney; Armas, O’Brien, Donovan; Dempsey (Davis, 84), Wolff (Quaranta, 62), Beasley
(Olsen, 114). 2007: USA 2 Mexico 1. USA --
Howard; Spector (Simek, 72), Onyewu, Bocanegra, Bornstein;
Dempsey (Twellman, 69), Feilhaber, Mastroeni (Clark, 46), Beasley; Ching, Donovan. 2013: USA 1 Panama 0. USA
Rimando; Parkhurst, Goodson, Besler, Beasley; Beckerman, Holden (Diskerud, 23); Bedoya (Gonzalez, 89), Donovan, Corona (Shea, 68); Johnson. 2017: USA 2 Jamaica 1.
Howard, Zusi, Gonzalez, Besler, Villafana, Arriola (Zardes, 76), Acosta (Dempsey, 55), Bradley, Nagbe
(McCarty, 90+), Altidore, Morris.