The Gold Cup probably isn't all the tournament CONCACAF would like it to be. It was described to me by SB Nation soccer guru Kevin McCauley as "B teams for the U.S. and Mexico, just fringe guys trying to get on the first team." Of course, there's the matter of this year's added story line, as Landon Donovan makes his return to international soccer after his hiatus. Of course, as Kevin dryly observed after I pointed this out, "Landon is a fringe guy trying to make the first team."
That all said, Fox clearly sees an opportunity to get some people hooked on CONCACAF's premier regional tournament, as the 2013 Gold Cup will be presented in it's entirety on Fox Soccer and, for the first time, Fox. Not only that, but soccer's preeminent emerging student, Gus Johnson, will call the Final as well as three other matches for the network. He'll be paired with U.S. National Team standout Cobi Jones when he calls games.
The tournament will act as sort of a last hurrah for the Fox Soccer Channel, which is likely headed to the woodshed after the debut of Fox Sports 1 on Aug. 17. The network will air 22 of the 25 matches, with Fox covering the rest. They'll air everything live, with studio coverage (featuring Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda and Warren Barton) on-site for matches in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Baltimore and Chicago.
Johnson -- currently being groomed as Fox's voice for soccer in time for the 2015 Women's World Cup and 2018 World Cup -- will call Mexico vs. Panama live from the Rose Bowl on July 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer. Johnson and Jones will work together on that match, as well as Saturday, July 13's USA vs. Cuba match from Salt Lake City (aired live on Fox), a quarterfinal match from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday, July 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET, and the final match from Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
John Strong and JP Delacamera will also do play-by-play for assorted matches, while Brian McBride joins Jones as a color analyst. Grant Wahl will report from U.S. National Team camp, and will provide a feature on Donovan's return.
2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup TV schedule
|July 7, 5 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Canada vs. Martinique|
|July 7, 7:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Mexico vs. Panama|
|July 8, 6:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||El Salvador vs. Trinidad & Tobago|
|July 8, 9 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Haiti vs. Honduras|
|July 9, 8 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Costa Rica vs. Cuba|
|July 9, 10:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Belize vs. USA|
|July 11, 8 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Panama vs. Martinique|
|July 11, 10:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Mexico vs. Canada|
|July 12, 6:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Trinidad & Tobago vs. Haiti|
|July 12, 9 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Honduras vs. El Salvador|
|July 13, 3 p.m. ET||FOX||USA vs. Cuba|
|July 13, 5:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Costa Rica vs. Belize|
|July 14, 3 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Panama vs. Canada|
|July 14, 5:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Martinique vs. Mexico|
|July 15, 6:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||El Salvador vs. Haiti|
|July 15, 9 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Honduras vs. Trinidad & Tobago|
|July 16, 5 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Cuba vs. Belize|
|July 16, 7:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||USA vs. Costa Rica|
|July 20, 2:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Quarterfinal|
|July 20, 5 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Quarterfinal|
|July 21, 3:30 p.m. ET||FOX||Quarterfinal|
|July 21, 6 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Quarterfinal|
|July 24, 6:30 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Semifinal|
|July 24, 9 p.m. ET||Fox Soccer||Semifinal|
|July 28, 3:30 p.m. ET||FOX||Final|