The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup looked to continue to be a somewhat of a joke at the end of Jamaica's 4-0 crushing defeat over Grenada, some were wondering if the minnows of Gold Cup should have even been invited. Perhaps the tournament should be winnowed back to the original 8 teams the Gold Cup featured as recently as 1998. Those thoughts were put on hold at least temporarily when Marco Pappa and his Guatemalan teammates took Honduras to a 0-0 draw after falling down to a 9 on 11 man disadvantage.
Tonight's games feature Guadeloupe vs. Panama at 5:00 PM CST and the main event of the United States vs. Canada at 7:00 PM CST. Fox Soccer Channel will start their coverage of the U.S. Canada game at 6:30 PM CST. More on all four games including a look at how Marco Pappa did and what these games mean for his return to the Fire.
After Costa Rica bombed Cuba 5-0 and Mexico doused El Salvador also 5-0, the last thing CONCACAF wanted was Group B to start off with a lopsided game of their own. Jamaica could care less as they dominated Grenada throughout their match last night. Grenada dreadfully misses the services of New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph. Joseph wouldn't have necessarily turned the game into an even match but it could have been a little more fair. MLS players like the 's Donovan Ricketts, 's Shavar Thomas, the 's Jermaine Taylor, 's Dicoy Williams, ' Dane Richards, and the Ryan Johnson all started for Jamaica. The Houston Dynamo's Je-Vaughn Watson entered the game as a substitute in the 79th minute of play. Luton Shelton broke open the scoring in the 21st minute, Johnson scored in the 39th and Demar Phillips and Omar Daley scored in the second half to complete the 4-0 victory. Grenada's side featured Sporting KC's Craig Rocastle in defense. This might explain some problems for Grenada...
Marco Pappa teamed up with the Philadelphia Union's Carlos Ruiz to give Honduras a couple of scares but nothing came to be for Pappa's Guatemalan side. Pappa looked his best somewhere after the opening minutes of the game and just before halftime. Guatemala did call up Pappa as a forward but they played him almost exclusively on the left wing in a midfield position. In the 81st minute, Carlos Figueroa came in as a substitute for Pappa. Guatemala had fallen into desperation mode after both Gustavo Cabrera and Henry Medina racked up their second yellow cards in the 61st and 79th minutes respectively. It was a mad attack by Honduras at the end but Pappa's countrymen held firm and even put out their chance or two. The game finished 0-0 with both teams getting a point. Grenada's big loss and Guatemala's tie bring Guatemala that much closer to the Quarterfinals game. Pappa continues to be on track to miss all the games for the Chicago Fire up until at least June 18th.
In just a couple of minutes, Guadeloupe will kick off against Panama in another minnow fight. Many Major League Soccer fans will be tuning in as the United States takes on Canada tonight on Fox Soccer Channel at 7:00 PM CST. The United States will be looking to wipe away the embarrassment of having their B team resemble Cuba, El Salvador or Grenada against Spain this past Saturday. Losing 4-0 is no way to get ready for a major tournament regardless of who played. As Simon Borg pointed out in an article about the USA/Canada rivalry rivaling Mexico/USA, Canada does not have a win in the past 13 contests but the overall record between the North American giants is 12-8-9 in the USA's favor. If Canada can score an early goal and pounce on a potentially fragile American psyche, this might just be Canada's night.