Three Points: Trinidad & Tobago v Guatemala

Guatemala (pictured) will look to replicate its 2014 Central America Cup celebration above, when it meets Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 9, 2015, in Chicago. (Photo: Mexsport)

CHICAGO, Illinois – CONCACAF Gold Cup action continues on Thursday as 2014 Caribbean Cup runner-up Trinidad & Tobago takes on Central American runner-up Guatemala in a Group C matchup at Soldier Field.

Here are Three Points to consider ahead of the game:

1) No room for error
With six-time Gold Cup champion Mexico favored to take top-honors in Group C, every match not involving the Tricolor becomes a virtual must win. While underdog Cuba is set to face Mexico later in the evening, for the Soca Warriors and the Chapines, earning three points is critical. In three previous Gold Cup meetings, each team has a win and they split another outing. Guatemala’s victory, though, came in 1991.

2) Goals at a premium
On paper, both Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala possess the offensive proficiency necessary to make their mark at this year’s Gold Cup. Despite their talents, however, each have found goals difficult to come by in recent outings. Combined, the two teams have found the back of the net on just two occasions throughout their last ten games. The goal drought has been especially severe for the Soca Warriors, who have not scored in their last 450 minutes of official play. Given their undeniable talent, though, it seems only a matter of time until one – or perhaps both – sides get back on track.

3) Jones v Pappa
The two players most likely to spark their team’s offensive renaissance are 2006 World Cup participant – Kenwyne Jones and 2014 Central American Cup MVP Marco Pappa. Jones has been a consistent threat for the Soca Warriors for the greater part of the last ten years. After a spell on loan at Bournemouth, Jones will once again be looking to impress on the international level, where he has twice scored in Gold Cup competition. Pappa, on the other hand, is enjoying a marvelous run of form for the Seattle Sounders, for which he has netted eight times in 41 appearances.