Well, it's notliterally
do-or-die, of course. But a loss for either country -- especially the USA -- might bring about some serious changes in the future.
Basically, here's what you really need to know before going to Livestrong Sporting Park tonight: The United States and Canada need to win (or at least draw) tonight at Livestrong Sporting Park. Have to. Must. If either loses then the Gold Cup is a disappointment. Actually, losses would be beyond disappointment. Try the word catastrophe.
For the U.S., bowing out in the group stage of a tournament staged in your home country when you're the co-favorite? Unacceptable. Especially for a nation that's supposed to be on the ascendancy in world soccer.
So, this is as much drama as you can get in the group stage of a semi-important regional FIFA tournament. So, dive in Kansas City, it's all yours.
Here's the breakdown:
Panama sits on top of Group C with a maximum 6 points and a +2 goal differential -- essentially, they are safe if they win or draw.
The USA (3 points, +1 GD) and Canada (3 points, -1 GD) fall in line after that. Guadeloupe (0 points, -2 GD) brings up the rear. The top two teams in each group qualify for the knockout phase, the top two third-place finishers also qualify.**The other two third-place teams: Guatemala (4 points, +2 goal differential) and El Salvador (4 points, -1 goal differential).
Panama vs. Canada (the only two countries I can think of that have only one vowel in its name that appears more than twice*) kicks off at 6 p.m. The United States vs. Guadeloupe follows directly after that at 8 p.m.*Edit: Forgot Madagascar! But it doesn't have the same symmetry.
If you can't make it out to the stadium, the Panama-Canada (hey, that's a lot of consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel repetition) will be broadcast on Univision. The U.S. game is on Fox Soccer.
For those attending,pay heed to the parking changes mentioned here