Gold Cup today: What to watch for in Monday's games

The Concacaf Gold Cup focus shifts to Group C on Monday as Exploria Stadium, the home of Orlando City SC, hosts a doubleheader, beginning with Jamaica taking on Suriname (6:30 pm ET | FS1, TUDN, UniMás) and Costa Rica meeting Guadeloupe (9 pm ET | FS1, TUDN, UniMás) in the nightcap.

Here’s what you need to know about both matches in Group C.

Jamaica vs. Suriname

Jamaica are the clear favorites in this matchup and arguably, given Costa Rica’s recent struggles, to top the group. Coached by Theodore Whitmore, in his fourth and most successful tenure as national team boss, the Reggae Boyz are coming off a 4-0 loss to Japan in an international friendly a month ago. But Jamaica have dominated Concacaf opposition, outside of the United States dating back to the last Gold Cup when they reached the semifinals. 

There are five MLS players — three from the Philadelphia Union — on Jamaica’s roster, led by goalkeeper Andre Blake. Union teammate Cory Burke and left back Kemar Lawrence from Toronto FC should also be in the starting XI.

Suriname are playing their first Gold Cup match after finishing atop Nations League B, Group D to qualify. Coached by Dean Gorre, Suriname rolled Cayman Islands, Aruba and Bermuda in World Cup qualifying before suffering a 4-0 defeat to Canada on June 8 that ended their run. 

Inter Miami CF fullback Kelvin Leerdam is the squad’s lone MLS current connection, although Suriname also feature former Union midfielder Roland Alberg. 

Jamaica won the previous meeting, 2-1, in Nations League qualification on Nov. 17, 2018. Burke and former MLS forward Darren Mattocks scored inside the opening 20 minutes in the victory.

Costa Rica vs. Guadeloupe

The Luis Fernando Suárez era for Costa Rica begins in Orlando with the former Honduras manager hoping to put an end to the Ticos’ 11-match winless run dating back to 2019. 

Costa Rica have reached the quarterfinals 11 straight times, but they’ve only played in one final — losing in 2002. 

The veteran Ticos have five current MLS players and five others who previously competed in the league. Francisco Calvo of Chicago Fire FC and FC Cincinnati’s Ronald Matarrita are regulars in the Costa Rica backline and Houston Dynamo FC forward Ariel Lassiter could be primed for a breakout performance.

While Costa Rica booked their berth by topping Nations League Group D, Guadeloupe were one of the final teams to clinch their spot and they did so in dramatic fashion, outlasting Guatemala, 10-9, on penalties. The Gwada Boys have reached their fourth Gold Cup and enter on a seven-match unbeaten run.

Forward Luther Archimede, the 13th overall selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, currently competes for Red Bulls II in the USL Championship.

The Ticos have won both of the teams' previous Gold Cup matchups, winning 1-0 in a group stage encounter in 2007 and 5-1 in the 2009 quarterfinals.