Some of the best international football athletes will be replacing our Carolina Panthers football players today at Bank of America Stadium.

We’re talking about soccer, not American football!

Charlotte will be hosting two CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament soccer matches this evening.  Cuba will be facing off against Guatemala at 6 p.m. and Mexico take on Trinidad & Tobago at 8:30 p.m.

What Is CONCACAF?

The CONCACAF, which stands for — deep breath — The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, plays this Gold Cup tournament every two years to determine a regional champion.

The Gold Cup tournament started in 1991. Since then, Mexico has won the title six times, the most out of all of its competitors. Closely following Mexico is the current reigning champion, the United States, which won its fifth title at the last Gold Cup in 2013.

Team Profile & Players To Watch

(1) Cuba

This team is a mainly younger squad that lacks international league play. Ariel Martinez along with Yenier Marquez are the only two players from Cuba’s team that have scored in the Gold Cup.

Cuba lost its first two games in the Gold Cup and is in last place in Group C.

(2) Guatemala

Guatemala’s team, led by MLS veteran forward Carlos Ruiz, is in third place in Group C with a tie and a loss in its first two games in the group stage. Guatemala tied Mexico 0-0 in its last game July 12.

(3) Trinidad and Tobago

The Trinidad and Tobago team faces considerable hardships as it has dealt with bribery and corruption charges brought against politician and FIFA executive Jack Warner.

But it has looked past those hardships to win its first two matches in Group C and secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

(4) Mexico

The Mexican team is one of the favorites to win the Gold Cup. You might remember the team’s head coach Miguel Herrera from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil — he was overly animated on the sidelines from every goal they scored.

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Mexico beat Cuba and tied Guatemala so far in the tournament and is currently in second place in Group C.

Want to go?

Tons of soccer fans from around the area will come to watch the games, so get there early to tailgate around Bank of America stadium. Tickets are still available for both games.

Photo: AP photo. 


WILLY J Will Johnson is a Digital Content Coordinator at Beasley Media Group (formerly  CBS Radio) and covers the sports, hip-hop, & local scene for Power 98 and 610 AM  The Fan.

 

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