PASADENA, California– In Cuba’s last visit to the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2015, it reached the quarterfinals after advancing out of the group stage thanks in large part to a 1-0 win over Guatemala.
Four years later, as it is set to begin its 2019 Gold Cup campaign, Cuba Head Coach Raul Mederos is hopeful that his side can once again make a return to the tournament’s final eight.
“Our objective in this Gold Cup is to reach the next round,” said Mederos in Friday’s pre-match press conference at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. “I think if we qualify in the top two of this group, it will be a good result in this Gold Cup.”
Mederos’ team arrive into its Group A opener against Mexico on the heels of a very successful Concacaf Nations League Qualifying campaign, in which it amassed a 3W-0D-1L record.
Its success in CNLQ is giving Cuba the confidence to embrace the challenge of a new Gold Cup.
“Without question, the Concacaf Nations League helped us for this tournament. It was a good competition in which we had four opponents, Turks and Caicos, Grenada, Dominican Republic and Haiti and now in this tournament we are among the best 16 teams in Concacaf. Here there is more rivalry, there is more competition. For us, it is very important to be able to compete at this level and get us ready for the next Nations League, in which we’ll be in Group A with the best teams in Concacaf,” said Mederos.
There is no doubt that while Cuba want to enjoy the experience of the Gold Cup, it also wants to show the rest of the region that it can rank among the top teams.
“We want to enjoy this competition. We had a very good Nations League and qualified for this Gold Cup and the most important thing is to put ourselves among the best in this competition. We should come to these tournaments to compete and fight and earn our place in Concacaf,” concluded Mederos.