And then there were four: Gold Cup Semi-Final preview

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The Semi-finals of the Gold Cup are set. USA takes on Costa Rica, and Mexico take on Jamaica. One is a matchup of two teams still competing for Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying, the other is a rematch of the 2015 final. Each team left standing has looked good and bad. Now is the time to see who will be playing for the Cup, and who will be going home empty-handed. Gold Cup Semi-final preview.

USA vs Costa Rica:

USA made the most of their change of personnel and it showed in their quarterfinal match. Assists from Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, and major saves from Tim Howard helped preserve USA’s win. Jozy Altidore was menacing dealing with nipple twists and biting from opposing players. All in all, the changes made helped produce a great result. Costa Rica who looked very good while claiming group A, seemed to stall a bit against Panama. Panama was trying to bend but not break, and for 80+ minutes it worked. Costa Rica proved to be the better side in their quarterfinal match, but still had trouble breaking down Panama. Which of the two teams will prevail in the semi-finals?

Who’s playing for the Cup?:

USA. Their recent cohesion has produced some really attractive attacking soccer. While their defense may still be suspect, they should be able to put more goals in Costa Rica’s net. Should the US’s attack flounder, they could see themselves getting beaten by Costa Rica. However, every player should be up for this match and bring their A game.

Who’s going home empty-handed:

Costa Rica. While they will be able to compete with USA, they won’t be able to stop the fluid attacking play should USA play that way. Costa Rica will get chances on USA’s goal, but it will take something special to beat Tim Howard.

Mexico vs Jamaica:

Mexico got off to a great start in their quarterfinal against Honduras. They scored the opener, and eventual game winner in the fourth minute. After that they looked pedestrian. They let Honduras have the majority of possession and chances. Mexico were lucky to get out of the match unscathed. Now, they take on a Jamaica side who they are more familiar with, and who they drew 0-0 in the group stage. Jamaica Had a dominant performance against Canada in their quarterfinal. Scoring two great goals, and having keeper Andre Blake make a huge save to preserve the win. They will have to bring that style of play with them against Mexico if they want to get the win and move onto the final. Which of the two teams will prevail in the semi-finals?

Who’s playing for the Cup?:

Mexico. They have more firepower. Their few instances of lackluster play should be non-existent against the weaker, and defensive minded Jamaican side. The only test Mexico will have to pass, is beating Jamaica’s Andre Blake who’s playing his way to best keeper of the Gold Cup. Lackluster attacking could Give Jamaica some chances which could muddle Mexico’s final hopes.

Who’s going home empty-handed

Jamaica. They like to sit back defensively and use the counter attack. This won’t do much against Mexico; give them the majority of possession and they’ll kill you. Jamaica will need a herculean effort from Blake, and good attacking build up to spoil Mexico’s chances.

Final participants:

USA vs Mexico

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Follow me on twitter @TGing21 for Soccer Twitter fun! Coming soon: A look back at the Union’s weekend away match at Columbus and a look ahead at the Gold Cup final. Until then, Peace out!

 

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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