First, will the US be able to step down after their unprecedented Confederations Cup achievement or step up after a deflating loss to the Brazilians in the finals? The hardest part for the US will be to recalibrate itself from a tournament that became much more of an emotional roller coaster ride than mere physical toll.
However, the could not have asked for a more soothing balm. The Concacaf Gold Cup has traditionally proved to be a statistical bonanza for the US team.
The US meet Grenada at 6 PM at Qwest Field.
Here are some of the gaudy numbers.
- The US are four time winners, in 1991, 2002, 2005, and 2007.
- The U.S. holds a 34-4-5 all-time record in the regional event and has outscored opponents 81-26.
- The Americans have never lost in group play at the Gold Cup, holding a 21-0-1 record. The only tie came on July 12, 2005, in a scoreless affair with Costa Rica in Foxborough, Mass.
Concacaf has given concessions to the US following their grueling schedule and permitted it to increase its roster to 30 players. The seven additional players will be added from the Confederations Cup squad and will include forwards Jozy Altidore and Conor Casey, midfielders Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan, defender Jonathan Bornstein and goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Not all seven players will be eligible to play in the same match and so Bob Bradley will rotate between these players to maintain 18 players who finally get to take the pitch.
We will get to see more Charlie Davis, Brian Ching, Freddy Adu, Benny Feilhaber, Santino Quaranta, Stuart Holden, Brad Evans, and Michael Parkhurst.
Grenada have their own MLS connection: Midfielder Sharlrie Joseph, who has had some outstanding seasons with the New England Revs is heart and soul of the squad. Some players like Byron Bubb (Wimbledon FC) and Ricky Charles (QPR) ply their trade in the English league. The US have won both their previous encounters.