By FRANCO PANIZO
The 2011 Gold Cup is five months away, and all but two nations set to participate are known as three more qualified on Sunday.
Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama reached the Gold Cup with wins that assured them of playing in the semifinals of the Copa Centroamericana, the seven-team tournament that names a Central American champion and decides which five nations from the region reach CONCACAF's biggest stage.
Costa Rica, which has started New York Red Bulls defender Roy Miller (pictured above on the right) in both its matches, disposed of Guatemala, 2-0. The win came just two days after a 1-1 draw with Honduras in the Group B opener.
Having won its first match against Nicaragua, 2-0, El Salvador secured qualification in Group A with a 5-2 beatdown of Belize. Host Panama also punched its ticker to the Gold Cup with a pair of 2-0 wins, first against Belize, then Nicaragua.
The three nations joined the United States, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Cuba and Grenada as teams that have qualified for the Gold Cup.
Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Nicaragua are all still in the hunt for the remaining two spots in the Gold Cup, and the next set of matches in the Copa Centroamericana will take place on Jan. 18.
What do you think of Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador reaching the Gold Cup? Who else do you see joining them? Which team are you hoping is not in the United States' group?
Share your thoughts below.