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What to watch for in Wednesday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

Mexican National Team forward Giovani Dos Santos (10) fights for the ball with Cuban National Team midfielder Dario Suarez during the second half of their CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer game at Soldier Field July 9, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
Mexican National Team forward Giovani Dos Santos (10) fights for the ball with Cuban National Team midfielder Dario Suarez during the second half of their CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer game at Soldier Field July 9, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. AFP/Getty Images

Who’s coming to Charlotte

Teams and players who will compete in soccer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte:

CUBA

Players to watch (number)

Yenier Marquez Molina (3): This is his eighth career Gold Cup. The 6-foot-2 defender is a threat on free kicks and corner kicks.

Ariel Martinez (10): He was Cuba’s top goalscorer in the 2013 Gold Cup with three.

Maikel Reyes (9): He helped lead Cuba’s U-20 team to its first U-20 World Cup in 2013.

Did you know ...

▪  Cuba midfielder Arael Arguellez and forward Keiler Garcia have both defected during the Gold Cup.

▪  Cuba hasn’t scored in either of its first two matches.

▪  Cuba’s best Gold Cup finishes are highlighted by trips to the quarterfinals in 2003 and 2013.

GUATEMALA

Players to watch (number)

Carlos Ruiz (20): The former MLS veteran has scored Guatemala’s only goal in the Gold Cup.

Marco Pappa (16): Currently plays for MLS’ Seattle Sounders, where he’s tallied two goals and five assists this season.

Did you know ...

▪  Guatemala’s best Gold Cup finish was fourth place in 1996.

▪  Guatemala’s 0-0 draw on Sunday broke Mexico’s streak of 32 Gold Cup matches with at least one goal.

▪  Guatemala needs a win to have a chance at reaching the quarterfinals.

MEXICO

Players to watch (number)

Oribe Peralta (19): Entering Tuesday’s matches, Peralta’s three goals tied him with the Clint Dempsey of the U.S. for the tournament lead.

Giovani Dos Santos (10): He’s scored 17 goals in 88 appearances with Mexico, but has come off the bench this tournament .

Guillermo Ochoa (13): The goalkeeper hasn’t allowed a goal through two matches.

Did you know ...

▪  Mexico has scored the most goals (6) in the Gold Cup, all in Thursday’s rout of Cuba.

▪  Mexico entered Tuesday’s matches with the most shots on goal (46) in the tournament. The next closest team was Honduras with 31.

▪  Mexico has won the Gold Cup a record six times.

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO

Players to watch (number)

Sheldon Bateau (4): The defender has scored the opening goal in both of his team’s matches.

Jan-Michael Williams (21): The goalkeeper has allowed one goal through two matches. He left Sunday’s match with a hamstring injury.

Joevin Jones (3): The Chicago Fire midfielder/defender earned man-of-the-match honors in a 3-1 win over Guatemala on Thursday.

Did you know ...

▪  Having already secured a spot in the quarterfinals, Trinidad and Tobago can win Group C with a win or draw against Mexico.

▪  Trinidad and Tobago’s best finish in the Gold Cup was third in 2000.

▪  Its 2-0 win over Cuba on Sunday marked only the second shutout in Trinidad and Tobago’s 25 Gold Cup matches.

Pat James

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