Heat becoming a Gold Cup factor 

June, 15, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Call it the Gore Cup … because global warming may well affect the global game's regional championship.

The U.S. worked hard to prepare itself for the grueling heat and humidity of this CONCACAF Gold Cup, and players are quick to throw out the "same-for-both-teams" cliches. But the elevated temps during the first round and the extended minutes the Yanks' stars put in during the group stage are a concern as the team heads into the knockout round.

Before Saturday's match against Panama, Landon Donovan conceded that high heat affects how teams play. "I don't think it affects us as much for this [Panama] game as it does going forward -- Games 3, 4, 5 and 6 if we're there, because the cumulative effect is pretty heavy," he said.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.