Gold Cup: Group A Update
Canada's Manjrekar James jumps in celebration after scoring against visiting Curacao in an international friendly on June 13, 2017, in Montreal, Canada. (Photo for courtesy of Canada Soccer)

MIAMI – With the start of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup slightly more than two weeks away, takes a look at the current status of the teams in Group A.

In a pre-Gold Cup friendly, Canada rallied for a 2-1 win over visiting Curacao on June 13 at the Stade Saputo in Montreal.  Anthony Jackson-Hamel completed the comeback, striking for the game-winning goal in the 87th minute off a Samuel Piette assist.  Curacao struck first in the 43rd minute through Rangelo Janga, but Manjrekar James leveled two minutes later.  Canada head coach Octavio Zambrano handed senior debuts to four young players: Alphonso Davies (16-years-old), Raheem Edwards (21), Mark-Anthony Kaye (22) and Juan Cordova (21).

Costa Rica inched closer to a FIFA World Cup berth by taking four out of six points from a pair of recent final-round CONCACAF qualifiers at its Estadio Nacional home.  On June 8, the Ticos were held to a scoreless draw by Panama.  Five days later, they edged Trinidad & Tobago, 2-1, on goals by Francisco Calvo (1’) and 2016 CONCACAF Player of the Year Bryan Ruiz (44’).  With the top-three teams from the Hexagonal table earning automatic spots at Russia 2018, Costa Rica (3W-2D-1L, 11 points) sits second, three points behind table-topping Mexico and three ahead of the third-place United States.

French Guiana is busy preparing to face defending champion Jamaica in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinals on Thursday in Fort-de-France, Martinique.  Forward Sloan Privat -- the team’s joint-top scorer in 2016/17 CFU play with three goals -- is not on the roster, but the name of Rhudy Evens, who has also netted three times, can be found on the list.

Honduras’ bid to qualify for a third consecutive FIFA World Cup remains up in the air.  In the final round of CONCACAF qualifying earlier this month, the fifth-place Catrachos (1-2-3, 5) fell 3-0 at Mexico on June 8 and, five days later, let host Panama net a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw.  All is not lost, however.  Honduras occupies fifth place in the six-team table, but trails the third-place United States by only three points.  Against Panama, the Houston Dynamo standouts Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis both scored.  That is a good sign for future success.