Landon Donovan

The Gold Cup is often a springboard to the World Cup for best U.S. players

The Gold Cup is often a springboard to the World Cup for best U.S. players

Stuart Holden has a soft spot for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“I love this tournament,” the Fox Sports broadcaster and former national team midfielder said. “Any time you put on the national team jersey, it’s an opportunity.”

Holden’s first opportunity came in the 2009 Gold Cup and he made the most of it, scoring 21 minutes into his international debut, then earning a place on the all-tournament team. Eleven months later, he had a seat on the U.S. charter to South Africa and the World Cup.

He’s not the only player who used Gold Cup success as a springboard to a World Cup appearance. Since 1993, 17 others came into the continental championship tournament with 10 or fewer...

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