The Concacaf Gold Cup kicks off with Rose Bowl doubleheader

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Gold CupThe opening games of the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup is scheduled to kick off today with a doubleheader at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. In the first match we will see a spirited Martinique team go up against Canada, a slightly tougher opponent than the Islanders would have hoped to kick of the tournament against. In the other game Mexico will take on a Panama team lead by coach Julio Dely Valdes.

The opening match serves as somewhat of an appetizer leading up to the last game between Mexico and Panama who are now looking to bounce back from a series of disappointing performances both in their World Cup Qualifiers and most recently the FIFA Confederations cup in Brazil.

But as the Mexican may know, this encounter will be a tough test for them in the opening round. Both teams have face each other on one occasion this year with that game finishing in 0-0 draw in Panama City.

The players fielded in the previous match will be different as Mexico is without most of their recognized star not due to injuries but rather to give opportunities to younger players. Panama takes a similar approach with the likes of Felipe Baloy, Luis Henriquez, Armando Cooper and Luis Tejada all not included in their Gold Cup squad.

Despite Mexico?s continued troubles the team is well aware of the goal ahead of them. Anything less than a win against Panama will see coach ‘Chepo’ Jose Manuel de la Torre come under serious scrutiny and could very well set the tone for his sacking if similar performances follow.

Kickoff time is scheduled for 5:30 PM ET  for Canada vs. Martinique game and Mexico vs. Panama at 8:00 PM ET.

Will you be watching the game? Let us know your thoughts ahead of tonight?s doubleheader.