Thursday, June 25, 2015

#TBT The Gold Cup

With the Gold Cup rosters being announced this week, I thought it'd be a good Throw Back Thursday to take a look at some past Gold Cup highlights that involve people currently with Sporting Kansas City.

First, we'll go back to the very first Gold Cup, after it had previously been the CONCACAF Championship, in 1991, the federations championship was officially played as the Gold Cup. Sporting KC's head coach, Peter Vermes was on the team that won the competition on penalty kicks over Honduras. The highlights below though are from the semifinals against Mexico, which the US won 2-0 thanks to second half goals by John Doyle and Vermes.

 We're going to now jump ahead 16 years to a point where current players were involved in the tournament. The 2007 tournament saw the US advance to the finals against Mexico in a bit of controversial fashion in the semifinals against Canada. But in the final, with the game tied 1-1, a 22 year old Benny Feilhaber hit one of the sweetest goals you'll ever see. The goal, 8 years ago yesterday stood up as the winner and the US qualified for the 2009 Confederations Cup (which also saw a historic win that occurred this week in history.

The 2011 Gold Cup really became the coming out party for Roger Espinoza at central midfield. Before that in his career with KC and Honduras he had mainly played as an outside midfielder or outside back. But during that Gold Cup, he performed so well, included in the semifinal against Mexico that when he returned, Vermes really had no other choice than to move him to central midfield for KC as well.

The 2013 US Open Cup saw the United States again grab the championship. Sporting KC's Matt Besler had been called in as a knockout stage replacement for the team. Besler started all three of the USA's knock out games, including the final, which the US won 1-0 over Panama to claim the Gold Cup and at least clinch them a playoff against the winner of this year's Gold Cup for a chance to qualify for the 2015 Confederations Cup.

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