SANTA MONICA – The CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off tomorrow at 4:00 pm Pacific time and the teams are getting ready to try and dominate. 12 nations throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean will come together from July 7th to July 26th to try and win it all, but who is favored to come out on top?
Mexico: The obvious favorite is Mexico. The reigning Gold Cup champions have continued to show just how talented they are time and time again. Mexico, however, just finished playing in the Confederations Cup in Russia where they placed fourth. Since the two tournaments are so close together, Mexico’s coach decided to play his most talented players in the Confederations Cup and send a slightly less experienced team to the Gold Cup. Although Mexico is still expected to be a powerhouse, they will have to prove that their B team is good enough to win it all.
USA: The USMNT has recently shown just how skilled they truly are. After a disastrous start to their World Cup Qualifiers, the team restructured and brought on head coach Bruce Arena. Since then, they have been on fire and have consistently impressed. They even tied Mexico in the Estadio Azteco, a feat they have only ever managed to accomplish 3 times. However, although it is clear that the USMNT has been on a role lately, head coach Arena told Sports Illustrated that he has decided not to take all his top players to the Gold Cup. In the midst of trying to qualify for the World Cup and the men playing tough club seasons, Arena has decided to give some players a much needed rest.
Costa Rica: While Costa Rica has never won the Gold Cup before, they have been consistently proving just how strong of a team they are since the 2014 World Cup. Additionally, unlike Mexico and the USMNT, Costa Rica will be taking their top players. They are hoping to prove themselves even more internationally and be only the fourth team to win the Gold Cup since it started in 1991.
First up, France Guiana will take on Canada at 4:00 tomorrow, and Honduras will face Costa Rico at 6:00 tomorrow. The games will be streaming on Fox Sports GO and FOX Soccer 2Go.
Photos by ISI