The quarterfinals are set. Over the next two days the last eight teams will battle it out. Who’ll advance and who’ll be sent home? Gold Cup preview: quarterfinals.
#GoldCup2017 Quarterfinals: Which teams will advance to semifinals? pic.twitter.com/OTza7MMSMb
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) July 19, 2017
Costa Rica vs Panama
This match will be very CONCACAF. Costa Rica should be the favorite in this match. They have found their way to the top of group A with some dominant wins. Panama made it trough group B in second place. Their structure has kept teams in check through the tournament. Both of these teams like to scrap out results, so this one should contain a lot of back and forth play. Grit will determine who moves on from this one.
Costa Rica. They have more talent on the field to break down Panama’s structured side.
Panama. Their structure will only hold for so long, if they can’t find a way to transition from sitting back, then they will be headed home.
USA vs El Salvador
USA have the ideal quarterfinal match. El Salvador are one of the weaker sides to make it through to the quarterfinals. That being said they still have had some success hitting teams on the counter attack. USA will have to watch out for that. The USMNT made some changes in their squad adding veterans: Clint Dempsey, Micheal Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Darlington Nagbe, and Tim Howard. With these reinforcements, USA should have the upper hand.
USA. They are the better side and will, hopefully be playing in front of a sold out crowd in Philadelphia. This should give them the edge.
El Salvador. If they can’t capitalize on their counter attack possibilities, they’ll be headed home.
Jamaica vs Canada
This matchup is of the two cinderella’s left in the tournament. Canada was one of the biggest surprises early in the group stage. Their hot start faded, and now they are have to face a very organized Jamaican side. Jamaica made it to the final of this tournament two years ago, this squad looks better than that one. A side led by keeper Andre Blake has kept Jamaica in all their games so far. This one should be interesting.
Jamaica, winning 5-4 on penalties. This game is a toss-up, and I think it’s the only one that will go to the straight penalties format. They get One save from Blake in the penalties to advance.
Canada. The cinderella’s run will end if they can’t break down the structured Jamaica side.
Mexico vs Honduras
Mexico and Honduras produce the only match up of teams that are still in the hunt for World Cup 2018 qualification. This match should be a competitive one. Honduras was a team that was majorly overlooked throughout this tournament. They are taking on one of the biggest favorites in Mexico. While this Gold Cup has been below the normal Mexican standards, Mexico still won their group. They now have to re-group and show that they are the team that made it far in the Confederations cup.
Mexico. It’s crunch time, and Mexico should be good enough to stand up to a tough task and advance.
Honduras. They need to stop Mexico and find a way through their defense to have a chance in this match. Mexico’s attack should be enough to send them home.
USA vs Costa Rica
Jamaica vs Mexico
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Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports