Orlando City Players to Watch at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup



Cerén and Larin. They sound like a law firm, or maybe the name of an 80s cop drama ("He's a no-nonsense Salvadorian police captain. His partner's a rookie Canadian cop…").

But in all seriousness, these two players representing Orlando City at next month’s 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be looking to lead their respective nations to North American soccer’s top prize. It won’t be an easy task, as the Gold Cup has traditionally been dominated by the United States and Mexico, but both players will come into the tournament with a chance to make an impact for their national sides.

While you probably planned on watching the USMNT coast their way through the tournament, it might be worth keeping an eye on Cerén and Larin for the Orlando City connection alone. In addition, as the two lowest-ranked teams in the tournament, both Canada and El Salvador are Cinderella stories waiting to happen.

If nothing else, be sure to tune in on July 8 when both nations clash in their Gold Cup opener at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles. Drawn into a tricky Group B with Jamaica and Costa Rica, these two countries will likely need points from this match to have any chance of advancing to the knockout round. Kickoff is at 10:30 ET, and the game will be available on UniMás and Fox Sports 2.

Let's take a look at the role we can expect these two Lions to play once the Gold Cup begins next week:

Darwin Cerén, Midfielder, El Salvador

Twelve appearances with Orlando City, one goal.

Twenty-six appearances with El Salvador, two goals.

While Cerén relinquished the captain’s armband to New York Cosmos forward Andres Flores this year, he’s still played a big role for El Salvador coming into the 2015 Gold Cup. He started both legs of the team’s World Cup qualifying aggregate win over Saint Kitts and Nevis, finding the back of the net for his second international goal.

Cerén got starts in two March friendlies for El Salvador and looks like he will continue in that starting role once Gold Cup play begins. He saw plenty of action in the 2013 tournament, where he helped lead El Salvador to the quarterfinals before they were knocked out by the United States.

Cyle Larin, Forward, Canada

Thirteen appearances with Orlando City, six goals.

Seven appearances with Canada, three goals.

Larin has a chance to be one of the more remarkable stories of the 2015 Gold Cup, providing Canada with the goal-scoring threat they so desperately need.

The Canadians failed to score a goal for almost 15 months (nine matches and over 900 minutes) before Larin made his international debut at the beginning of 2014. In his first cap, Larin led the Canadians to a draw with Bulgaria; but more importantly, it was a 1-1 draw, as Canada finally broke that mind-boggling scoreless streak.

Larin scored his first international goal for the Canadians in a 3-0 friendly victory over Puerto Rico in March, before scoring twice in last month's World Cup qualifying aggregate win over Dominica.

Led by former Real Madrid manager Benito Floro, Canada is streaking into Gold Cup play on a four-game winning streak in which they've outscored opponents 10-0. With Larin at the top of their attack, Canada has to believe they've got a shot to turn some heads once the tournament begins next month.

Cyle Larin 2:0 Amazing Goal | Canada vs… by zidanekrisz

Looking to watch Cyle Larin and Darwin Cerén at the 2015 Gold Cup? Here's all the match information you need to keep track of their group stage action:

Wednesday, July 8 at StubHub Center, Los Angeles, California

10:30 p.m.: El Salvador vs. Canada (Fox Sports 2, UniMás, Univision Deportes)

Saturday, July 11 at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

6:30 p.m.: Jamaica vs. Canada (Fox Sports 2, UniMás, Univision Deportes)
9:00 p.m.: Costa Rica vs. El Salvador (Fox Sports 2, UniMás, Univision Deportes)

Tuesday, July 14 at BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario

6:00 p.m.: Jamaica vs. El Salvador (Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deportes)
8:30 p.m.: Canada vs. Costa Rica (Fox Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deportes)


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