The bad news for U.S. men's national team fans:
It's going to be a steady diet of Concacaf opposition for the USA for the next couple of years as the new Concacaf Champions League will fill in the gap between the 2019 Gold Cup and the start of World Cup 2022 qualifying. (As of now, it also doesn't look like the USA will play in the 2020 Copa America.)
The good news:
If the USA is going to load up on Concacaf opponents, the storylines might as well be interesting.
Out of the gate, the USA will face Trinidad & Tobago and Panama along with newcomer Guyana in Group D at the Gold Cup, which has been expanded from 12 to 16 games.
U.S. Gold Cup Schedule:
June 18: Guyana at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minn.
June 22: Trinidad & Tobago at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio
June 26: Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.
June 30: Quarterfinal (if necessary) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa.
July 3: Semifinal (if necessary) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
July 7: Final (if necessary) at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill.
The USA will get an opportunity for revenge against the Soca Warriors, whose stunning 2-1 win on the final day of the Hexagonal knocked the USA out of the 2018 World Cup.
Since then ...
T&T has also won only one game in last year: against the UAE in Sept. 2018. Since then, it only played three games, losing to Wales, Iran and Thailand.
Panama leapfrogged the USA and qualified for the World Cup for the first time thanks to its 2-1 win over Costa Rica on Roman Torres' last-minute goal.
Since then ...
Panama has won once in 13 games in last year: against T&T (outside FIFA window) a year ago next Wednesday. Its best result: 1-1 vs. Brazil in March.
It won't be the first meeting with the Canaleros since October 2017, though. In January, the USA won, 3-0, in Gregg Berhalter's first test as U.S. national team coach.
First up will be Guyana, which the USA has never faced at the international level. The Golden Jaguars qualified for the Gold Cup for the first time, finishing seventh in the 34-team Concacaf qualifying pool that sent the top 12 teams to the Gold Cup and the top six teams into the top tier of the new Concacaf Nations League that begins in September.
Guyana got a break when its 2-2 tie with Barbados at home in its opening game was declared a 3-0 forfeit win because Barbados used two players who weren't yet cleared by FIFA to play. Guyana would have still finished in the top 12 without the extra two points, however.
It clinched its berth in the Gold Cup with a 2-1 win over Belize on the final day of qualifying. The winning goal was scored by Emery Welshman, whom FC Cincinnati has loaned out to Forge FC in the new Canadian Premier League.
Gold Cup Groups:
Group A: Mexico, Canada, Martinique, Cuba
Group B: Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bermuda
Group C: Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador, Curacao
Group D: USA, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana
Gold Cup Schedule:
Note: All times ET.
Saturday, June 15 – Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (Group A)
7:30 pm Canada v Martinique
9:30 pm Mexico v Cuba
Sunday, June 16 – Estadio Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica (Group B)
6 pm Haiti v Bermuda
8 pm Costa Rica v Nicaragua
Monday, June 17 – Independence Park, Kingston, Jamaica (Group C)
7 pm Curaçao v El Salvador
9 pm Jamaica v Honduras
Tuesday, June 18 – Allianz Field, St. Paul, MN (Group D)
7:30 pm Panama v Trinidad & Tobago
9:30 pm USA v Guyana
Wednesday, June 19 – Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, CO (Group A)
8 pm Cuba v Martinique
10 pm Mexico v Canada
Thursday, June 20 – Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX (Group B)
7 pm Nicaragua v Haiti
9 pm Costa Rica v Bermuda
Friday, June 21 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX (Group C)
7 pm El Salvador v Jamaica
9 pm Honduras v Curaçao
Saturday, June 22 – FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH (Group D)
8:30 pm Guyana v Panama
8:30 pm USA v Trinidad & Tobago
Sunday, June 23 – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC (Group A)
6 pm Canada v Cuba
8 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)
8 pm Jamaica v Curaçao
10 pm Honduras v El Salvador
Wednesday, June 26 – Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS (Group D)
6:30 pm Trinidad and Tobago v Guyana
8:30 pm Panama v USA
Saturday, June 29 – NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
7 pm QF1: 1B v 2A
9:30 pm QF2: 1A v 2B
Sunday, June 30 – Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
5:30 pm QF3: 1C v 2D
8 pm QF4: 1D v 2C
Tuesday, July 2 – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
10 pm SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
Wednesday, July 3 – Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
9 pm SF2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4
Sunday, July 7– Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
9 pm Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2