With two exciting endings complete, the 2015 Gold Cup keeps chugging along, this time with Group B action on Wednesday night. Houston Dynamo's GIles Barnes and Jermaine Taylor will feature at 7:00PM against a tough Costa Rican team coming off a historic 2014 World Cup. El Salvador and Canada take the late slot at 9:30PM (all times central). These matches will be played at the Stub Hub Center - home of MLS' LA Galaxy.
Costa Rica have reached at least the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup since 2002. In the previous two tournaments, they've only managed to reach the quarterfinals before being ousted by Honduras in both years. This time, Los Ticos enter the tournament on the backs of an exciting quarterfinal run - in the World Cup. There, they were beat out by the Netherlands on a brutal round of penalty kicks. The team is certainly one to watch and is expected to go far but will have to deal without star keeper Keylor Navas, who misses the tournament with an achilles injury.
Jamaica most recently reached the quarterfinals in the 2011 Gold Cup but have also failed to qualify for the tournament on four occasions, including the 2013 edition. Following a winless crash out of a tough group at the Copa America in Chile, the Reggae Boyz will come into Group B with focus and an exciting forward up top by the name of GIles Barnes. The Dynamo striker has only been part of the Jamaican national team since February but has found the net once in five games. Of all places, the Gold Cup serves as perhaps the best stage for him to put his International talent on view.
El Salvador have reached the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup in two successive tournaments, aiming to make 2015 their third in a row. Their exit in 2013 came at the hands of a humiliating defeat to the United States by a score of 5-1. This year, there's little to suggest that they've improved. So far in 2015, El Salvador have only won a single match in six games - a 4-1 World Cup Qualifying win over Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Canada have had a dark shadow cast over them for quite a while. For two years, the team went winless until last September, when they snapped that 16-game streak with a 3-1 win over fellow group-mates Jamaica. Since then, they've been trying to regain footing in the CONCACAF scene. The team now have a four-shutout streak heading into the Gold Cup (though all four are against regional minnows) and they will face a low bar to hurdle as they haven't emerged from the group stage of the tournament since 2009. Former Dynamo defender Andre Hainault will help anchor a backline that hopes to emerge from the darkness.
Both matches will be available on Fox Sports 2 with Costa Rica/Jamaica at 7:00PM and El Salvador/Canada at 9:30PM. Dynamo Theory will be live for the second round of matches, taking place on Saturday, July 11th at BBVA Compass Stadium. Follow along on Twitter for updates.