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U.S. men's soccer team draws challenging group for Gold Cup tournament

The U.S. was placed in arguably the most challenging group for this summer’s Gold Cup on Wednesday, landing in a foursome that includes Panama, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Americans will open their tournament against Guyana, playing in the Gold Cup for the first time, on June 18 in St. Paul, Minn. They play Trinidad and Tobago — the team that knocked the U.S. out of the last World Cup — in Cleveland before finishing group play in Kansas City, Mo., where it will face Panama, a World Cup qualifier last year.

The tournament kicks off June 15 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with a doubleheader of Canada vs. Martinique and Mexico against Cuba. The only other Gold Cup date in Southern California will be a Group C doubleheader at Banc of California Stadium featuring Honduras against El Salvador and Curacao vs. Jamaica.

The only way the U.S. and Mexico could face each other in the tournament is if both reach the final July 7 in Chicago. It’s a good bet one of them will be there since the two countries have combined to win the last nine Gold Cup titles.

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kevin.baxter@latimes.com | Twitter: @kbaxter11

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