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Jul 062013

Yes every CONCACAF Gold Cup since 2005 has pitted Mexico v USA but for the likes of Martinique and Belize this is as good as it gets. So, lets look at the possibilities.

Group A has heavy weight Mexico, good Panama, a YOUNG Canada, and surprise Martinique. Mexico better roll in every game as their manager is sitting on a really hot seat at the moment. Canada is in search of direction so they are playing an extremely young squad. Panama is still in the race for the World Cup but need to find some more depth for further success. Martinique is happy to be here and willing to upset the apple cart if they can, remember Cape Verde in the African Cup of Nations? Winners: Mexico, Runner-up: Panama, 3rd and possibly in quarterfinals: Canada, Last: Martinique

Group B is the best of the three with El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Trinidad and Tobago. For Honduras the focus is building more depth for a side  that could seriously make the World Cup. Haiti sees themselves as being able to take the mantle of best in the Caribbean from Jamaica, who didn’t make the Gold Cup, and will see this side as one who will be ready to make a push and develop over the next few years. El Salvador is kicking themselves for not making the hexagonal but with a very young side will look for the future to build on. Trinidad and Tobago made the hexagonal in qualification for 2010 but missed a generation so are having to rebuild and will look to this tournament for assisting in that. Winners: El Salvador, Runner-up: Honduras, 3rd and possibly in quarterfinals: Haiti, Last: Trinidad and Tobago.

Group C is like A with a heavy weight in the USA, a newcomer in Belize, with Costa Rica looking for qualifying depth, and Cuba just looking for something. Cuba is a weird one. They do well at making youth tournaments for a county that is very much baseball and boxing first. They always seem to have a player defect during the tournament but are one of the best in the Caribbean. Whenever Communism falls on this island and helps develop soccer they could become formidable indeed. This is just a looking for depth USA team that has a lot of players who have been out of the loop, play in smaller leagues, or just have had recent bad luck. Enough said. Belize is making their first major tournament as they did so and caused Guatemala to miss out. Costa Rica is looking for more players to help in qualification. With the hex as it usually is that leaves few places in Brazil outside the USA and Mexico. Winners: USA, Runner-up: Costa Rica, 3rd and possibly in quarterfinals: Cuba, Last: Belize

Best Group Stage Match: Honduras v El Salvador, as much history as the football itself. In 1969, after a World Cup qualifier playoff game that was won by El Salvador and had massive violence surrounding the previous two matches that the playoff was played in Mexico City.

Quarterfinal matchups:

Panama v Honduras: Each team will need this for the same reasons, to find more depth for their ongoing World Cup qualifying campaign. Honduras seems to have more talent but Panama the better squad cohesion. Going with Honduras in a talent comes through.

Mexico v Haiti: Should Haiti make a massive upset there would be riots all over Mexico and a certain few head will roll and be on spikes or worse. But honestly the talent is so vast in diversity that it would be farcical to say Haiti would win. Mexico through.

United States v Canada: In hockey this would be a different story but this is soccer. Since 1986 the fortunes of Canada and USA have gone in opposite directions. Canada will be happy with their quarterfinal appearance but no shot against the US unless this was played in Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, or Edmonton. USA through.

Costa Rica v El Salvador: This is a fun one. Costa Rica is looking to find more depth while El Salvador is trying to usher in a new generation. The distinct advantage El Salvador will have will be they could fill M&T Bank Stadium and make the 12 man felt. Need an upset somewhere. El Salvador through


Mexico v Honduras: Mexico has the better talent but if they don’t make the final it is because Honduras finds it in them to replicate what they did against Mexico early in the year and possibly one better, a 2-2 draw in Honduras. Common wisdom says Mexico will find a way to get a winner but this will be the most nerve racking of the semifinals. Mexico through.

USA v Costa Rica: the United States will see this as just another step in asserting their dominance of the region as they pry it away from Mexico. Costa Rica will give them all they can handle but it will be more of the same from the group stage match. USA through.

Finals: The big two will go at it again and depending on what comes from an all Liga MX side and the pressure their coach is under will mean what kind of opposition the US will face. The States gained so much confidence from winning at Azteca last August and the draw in March. Mexico has totally lost the mojo they had coming away from the Olympics. As feisty as this usually is the relatively inexperienced Mexican side will have difficulties dealing with the enormous pressure. USA as Champions

Brian Sanders

  One Response to “Gold Cup Predictions”

  1. [...] Note: To Check Brian Sanders predictions for the 2013 Gold Cup, head here. There will be tons of coverage for this year’s Gold Cup from all our GFT writers, so make [...]

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