While Costa Rica have allowed a number of their best European-based players to stay with their clubs and participate in preseason training, they've probably brought the closest thing to a first team out of CONCACAF's powers and the legitimate contenders to win Gold Cup. First up are Cuba, who have left their best players at home for entirely different reasons.
As The Bent Musket noted, Marcel Hernandez and Carlos Francisco, two of the team's best young players from the Caribbean Cup (the Gold Cup qualifying tournament) have not been called up to the team. The Cuban national team have a long history of their players defecting to the United States while traveling for international competitions and this Gold Cup should be no exception, even if two of the country's stars were left at home.
Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, Cristian Bolaños and Keylor Navas are among the stars who have been left off the Costa Rican roster, but the likes of Alvaro Saborio, Celso Borges, Michael Umaña and Junior Diaz provide them with plenty of attacking punch and experience. They're big favorites on Tuesday night, and they should give the United States a run for their money for the group win.
Match date/time: Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Oregon
TV: FOX Soccer (U.S. - English), UniMas (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada), ESPN (U.K.)