The 2019 Gold Cup semifinals begin on Tuesday, with three of the usual suspects and a rank outsider still in contention for the title.
Mexico and the United States are the traditional powers in the Concacaf region and have combined to win all but one of the previous 14 Gold Cups. After losing the last two finals, Jamaica is back in the final four again as the Reggae Boyz look to break through and lift the trophy for the first time.
They are joined in the last four by Haiti, which has never made it this far in the Gold Cup. The country did win the precursor to the Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Championship, in 1973. But since the new format began in 1991, this is only the seventh time the Caribbean nation has competed in the tournament.
Haiti won all three of its group matches, including a 2-1 upset of Costa Rica, before defeating Canada 3-2 on Saturday in the quarterfinals after falling behind 2-0.
Les Grenadiers face their toughest challenge of the Gold Cup in the semifinals. Mexico is currently the class of the region. It had the toughest opponent in the quarterfinals in Costa Rica, but scraped through on penalties after a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Mexico will be without its coach, Tata Martino, as he will be serving a touchline ban after picking up two yellow cards in earlier matches. The game is in suburban Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday night.
The USA looked less than impressive in defeating minnows Curacao 1-0 in their quarterfinal on Sunday. Next up is Jamaica, which knocked the USA out of the 2015 Gold Cup at the semifinal stage, winning 2-1 in Atlanta. The Reggae Boyz, who beat Panama 1-0 to reach the final four on Sunday, are on a five-match unbeaten run that began on June 5 with 1-0 win over the USA in a friendly in Washington, DC.
The USA-Jamaica semifinal will be Wednesday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
The two teams who reach the final will be playing before a full house at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday. Concacaf announced on Monday that the final is sold out.
Photo: Wilde-Donald Guerrier (10) of Haiti scores winning goal during the quarterfinal match between Haiti and Canada (Getty Images)