The U.S. opened its 2011 Gold Cup campaign against Canada in Detroit on June 7.
For their next match, on June 11, the Yanks flew to Tampa to take on Panama before finishing up the group stage against Guadeloupe on June 14 in Kansas City, Kansas.
Three games in seven days in three distant cities.
After surviving this odyssey, the U.S. qualified for the quarterfinals, where they faced Jamaica in Washington, D.C. on June 19.
(All of this equals another reason why Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey’s wedding excursions were questionable.)
The other teams had similar set-ups. Jamaica, to name one, played its opener in Los Angeles, its second game in Miami, for Pete’s sake, and its third in New Jersey before losing to the U.S. in D.C.
We understand CONCACAF wants exposure in as many markets as possible, while matching national teams to suitable cities, but this is taking it too far.
Put it this way: there are more venues (13) than teams (12) in this tournament.
They should make group play a more regional setup, at least.
Maybe CONCACAF prez Jack Warner Lisle Austin Alfredo Hawit can look into it.