Following a brutal shortened World Cup qualifying campaign and a difficult Confederations Cup, Mexico has brought a B team to Gold Cup, just like the United States. The two nations did the same back in 2009, but still got to the final, where Mexico emerged victorious. On Sunday, they take on a mixed Panama team that features a number of first-choice players, though a number of their best are noticeably absent.
Striker Blas Perez, midfielder Gabriel Gomez, defender Roman Torres and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo are the biggest stars in the Panama side, with the likes of Felipe Baloy, Luis Henriquez, Armando Cooper and Luis Tejada staying home. Marco Fabian is the biggest name in the Mexico team, and given the volatile state of Mexico's attacking midfield positions, he probably stands to gain the most from this tournament.
Mexico have been poor in their warm-up matches, dropping games against Queretaro and Cruz Azul Hidalgo. Despite their lack of stars, Mexico will still have the goal of winning Gold Cup. A loss to Panama wouldn't be a disaster, but it would certainly be a worrying sign for 'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre and his team, who are only matched by the United States in talent at this tournament.
Match date/time: Sunday, 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
TV: FOX Soccer (U.S. - English), Univision (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada), ESPN (U.K.)