2013 Gold Cup to kick off with Mexico at the Rose Bowl

The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup will kick off exactly as the 2011 edition ended  – with Mexico playing at the Rose Bowl.

CONCACAF announced Wednesday that the historic Los Angeles-area venue will host a doubleheader featuring the two-time defending Gold Cup champions on July 7 to kick off the latest edition of North America's premier international competition.

“We look forward to an exciting 2013 Gold Cup beginning on July 7 here at the historic Rose Bowl,” CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said in a statement. “All communities will be united through regional rivalries that generate national pride filled with emotion and passion.”

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Mexico claimed the 2011 title with an emphatic 4-2 win over the United States in front of a crowd of 93,000 fans, winning the tournament for the second time in a row after US victories in three of the four prior editions.

Though the field of 12 teams for the 2013 Gold Cup has now been set, Mexico's opponents and the other pair of participants in the doubleheader have yet to be announced. In addition to the Rose Bowl, 12 other venues across the United States will share hosting duties.

The complete schedule and group stage draw will be released in mid-March.