It's Throwback Thursday, or Monday, or today, or whatever. It is exactly one year to the day since the United States won the 2013 Gold Cup, that's what it is.
The U.S. may have been coming off of a nine-point June in World Cup qualifying and have been sitting atop the Hex, but they had not conquered CONCACAF. At least not yet. Mexico's shellacking of the U.S. last Gold Cup was still hanging over the team. The Americans had spent nearly a decade touting their CONCACAF dominance and they wanted it back.
Things got easier when El Tri were knocked out in the semifinals, or at least it seemed. That was a Mexico team in free fall and missing many of their best players, and instead of them, the Americans were pit against an experienced Panama that was a full strength. But they won, thanks to Brek Shea's 69th minute winner, and the Americans were back on top of the region.
It's been 365 days since that afternoon in Chicago. The U.S. has since finished first in the Hex and been to the round of 16 of the World Cup, and while last summer's Gold Cup was filled with reserves, it was still the Americans' ascent back to the top of CONCACAF. It was a trophy. It was a shot across the region's bow.
The U.S. was back.