Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Soccer on TV: The Concacaf Gold Cup is always good for a few surprises

Mexico tries to recover from a scoreless tie against Trinidad & Tobago, and the U.S. plays Martinique. Plus big games in South America’s Copa Libertadores.

Trinidad and Tobago upset Jesús "Tecatito" Corona, center, and star-studded Mexico with a scoreless tie in the Gold Cup's opening game.
Trinidad and Tobago upset Jesús "Tecatito" Corona, center, and star-studded Mexico with a scoreless tie in the Gold Cup's opening game.Read moreMichael Ainsworth / AP

Boca Juniors vs. Atlético Miniero

Tuesday, 6:15 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)

Three days after Argentina beat Brazil in the Copa América final, clubs from the nations start facing off in the Copa Libertadores round of 16. Boca made the final in 2018 and the semifinals in 2019 and 2020, but it hasn’t won the tournament since 2007. The Buenos Aires club boosted its attack by signing Colombian playmaker Edwin Cardona, and its defense with Argentine national-team veteran Marcos Rojo.

Atlético Miniero’s squad includes veteran Brazilian striker Hulk, veteran Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas, and former Real Salt Lake playmaker Jefferson Savarino.

Qatar vs. Panama

Tuesday, 7 p.m. (FS1, UniMás, TUDN)

What is Qatar doing in the Gold Cup? The host nation of next year’s World Cup is an invited guest to this year’s field, after pulling out of being a guest at the Copa América because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also might not be a coincidence that Qatar Airways recently became a major Concacaf sponsor, which a lot of North American fans aren’t thrilled about because of Qatar’s history of human-rights abuses.

All of Qatar’s players play in the country’s domestic league. The top scorers are striker Hassan Al-Haydos, with 28 goals in 132 games dating back to 2008; and Almoez Ali, a Sudan native with 23 goals in 43 caps since 2016. Panama is led by veteran forward Gabriel Torres, who used to play for the Colorado Rapids and is now with Mexico’s Pumas UNAM.

» READ MORE: Wawa gives Philadelphia’s 2026 World Cup bid a boost as FIFA gets to know the city

São Paulo vs. Racing Club

Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. (beIN Sports Español)

Here’s the other big Brazil vs. Argentina matchup in the Libertadores. This one comes with the oddity that both teams were in the same group in the group stage. It’s rare to see teams from the same group drawn against each other in tournament knockout rounds. The game at Racing was a scoreless draw, and the game at São Paulo was a 1-0 Racing win.

São Paulo is led by two veterans, outside back Dani Alves and forward Éder, though Alves is away with Brazil’s Olympic team. Racing has its own veteran core including striker Darío Cvitanich and former Montreal winger Ignacio Piatti, but the player to watch is 22-year-old winger Tomás Chancalay. He’s been playing well, and if he keeps at it he’ll be at a bigger club soon.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's Copa Libertadores schedule

Honduras vs. Grenada

Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. (FS1, UniMás, TUDN)

Honduras has plenty of names familiar to MLS followers, including Club de Foot Montréal’s Romell Quitoto and the Houston Dynamo’s Boniek García and Maynor Figueroa. The Catrachos are the likely favorite to win Group D, followed by Panama.

U.S. national team scouts will be paying close attention, as the Americans go to San Pedro Sula for the last game of the first set of final-round World Cup qualifiers in September.

Kairat Almaty vs. Maccabi Haifa

Wednesday, 10 a.m. (Paramount+)

The first leg of this Champions League qualifying playoff first-round series ended in a 1-1 tie at Haifa. Now Maccabi, featuring American goalkeeper Josh Cohen, must get a result in Kazakhstan to advance.

Trinidad & Tobago vs. El Salvador

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m (FS1, UniMás, TUDN)

Trinidad & Tobago scored an upset right out of the gate in the Gold Cup, holding Mexico to a scoreless tie in front of over 41,000 fans at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. El Salvador beat Guatemala 2-0, including a goal from the Seattle Sounders’ Alex Roldan in his debut for La Selecta.

River Plate vs. Argentinos Juniors

Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. (beIN Sports Español)

Along with the Argentine vs. Brazilian club matchups in the Libertadores round of 16, there’s this Buenos Aires derby. The players to watch are River’s 21-year-old forward Julián Álvarez and Argentinos Juniors veteran striker Gabriel Hauche.

Guatemala vs. Mexico

Wednesday, 10 p.m. (FS1, Univision, TUDN)

Not only was Mexico held scoreless by Trinidad & Tobago, it lost star attacker Hirving “Chucky” Lozano to an ugly head injury. Lozano’s injury will be a bigger deal than the result in the long run, but El Tri fans will grumble anyway about its loaded attack failing to produce a goal.

Haiti vs. Canada

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. (FS1, TUDN)

Canada looked impressive in a 4-1 rout of Martinique in its Gold Cup opener. This matchup will be a little more challenging. The Canucks will be favored, but Haiti showed it can frustrate an opponent with a team led by midfielder Derrick Etienne Jr. of the Columbus Crew, and goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre of the second-tier USL Championship’s Miami FC.

» READ MORE: Quinn Sullivan’s bicycle-kick goal in his first MLS start was a dream moment for one of Philly soccer’s most famous families

Martinique vs. United States

Thursday, 10 p.m. (FS1, UniMás, TUDN)

The U.S. men didn’t look good in their Gold Cup opener, a 1-0 win over Haiti, and manager Gregg Berhalter wasn’t shy about it. He called the attack “disappointing,” and “way too slow, way too backwards.”

There should be more goals against Martinique. All the better if they come from two players who didn’t play much against Haiti, midfielder Gianluca Busio and striker Daryl Dike.

Martinique, by the way, has a player familiar to longtime English Premier League watchers: former Newcastle United winger Emmanuel Rivière.

» READ MORE: The USMNT’s Concacaf Nations League win was an epic chapter in U.S.-Mexico rivalry