The Concacaf Gold Cup kicks off this weekend! This tournament is essentially the North/Central American Cup. It’s akin to the ongoing Euros and Copa America. As yet another international soccer tournament begins, we at PSN have you covered. Here’s our preview of Gold Cup 2021: Part 1
Gold Cup 2021: Part 1
The Gold Cup has four groups of four teams who will duke it out to make it to the knockout rounds. The top two teams from each group hed to the knockouts starting with the quarterfinals!
For this part one, we will take a look at the first two groups of four teams. Groups A and B have powerhouses in them. Will they run away with their groups and make it to the quarterfinals and beyond? Or will an underdog shock the region to claim a top spot in the group? Here’s a look at Groups A and B.
This is Mexico’s group to lose. They have all the talent in the world to make it to the final and should have no issue breezing through Trinidad, Curacao, and El Salvador, however, those three nations may have other ideas.
Curacao hasn’t played many games of late. Only six in the last two years where they won three, drew two and lost one. Their roster is weak, while they have some players on decent professional teams, many on their roster have no official club. This will pose problems for them in this tournament, but there is always the potential for surprise results. They start the tournament on July 10th at 5 PM against El Salvador.
Just one day before the tournament started, news came out that Curacao won’t be playing in this Gold Cup because of Covid-19 health and safety protocols. The next highest-ranked nation, Guatemala will take their place, and play their first match Sunday night against El Salvador at 10:30 pm EST.
Like Curacao, this El Salvador has a decent record in their most recent games. Also like Curacao, they have not played teams that are up to snuff to the powerhouses in this tournament. El Salvador do have a decent roster though, that features 23 pros including four players that play in the United States. This is a team I expect to advance but not to get very far in this tournament, but maybe they make some noise on their journey. They start the tournament on July 10th at 5 PM against Curacao.
Mexico is the team to beat in this tournament plain and simple. This is as close to their best roster as they can get and should get to the final at a minimum. I think they’ll win this tournament with relative ease in all honesty, and it will be nice to see a top roster with top players at this tournament. Mexico has only two losses this year and they are to the US in the Nations League final and Wales in a friendly where they should have come away with the win. El Tri will play their first match on July 10th at 10 PM against Trinidad.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad enters the tournament off the back of a penalty shootout win over French Guiana yesterday in a play in-game. Their recent record is good, but they haven’t played many good teams and when they have (United States) they lost seven to zero. They will have a tough time in this group, but still might be able to squeak out some results against the other lesser teams. Trinidad plays their first match on July 10th at 10 PM against Mexico.
This is an interesting group where the US and Canada are at the top, but with the rosters that they are each bringing, not much separates them. Haiti and Martinique should prove no issue to the North American powerhouses seeing the Americans and the Canadians through to the knockouts where only the group positioning is up in the air.
The US brings an MLS-heavy roster with some euro players in as well to this year’s Gold Cup. Discussing previous results seems pointless as this is a brand-new team from the US rosters we’ve seen recently, so let’s get right into the roster itself. I think Berhalter is using this tournament to assess potential additions to his top squad which will start their 2022 World Cup qualifiers later this year. This team should still do well in the tournament, and it will be exciting to see some of the young MLS talent trying to prove themselves in a competitive tournament. The United States kicks off their gold cup against Haiti on July 11th at 8:30 PM
This Canadian roster is strong, but not full strength as Jonathan David has been left off. This is most likely to allow him to rest for his upcoming Ligue 1 season with champions Lille. It is always exciting to watch Alphonso Davies play especially for Canada where he finds himself playing more of an attacking role than he does at left-back for Bayern. Canada hasn’t lost since January 2020 where fell to Iceland, so they should be primed for a deep run in this cup, and I think will be one of the more fun teams to watch over the next couple of weeks. Canada starts their journey on July 11th at 6:30 PM against Martinique.
Martinique is not a great team. They struggle to get results against most of Concacaf and this tournament will most likely be no different. Martinique hasn’t won since 2019 and I wouldn’t be surprised if they failed to get a point in this competition. They bring a roster of players that play their club ball mostly for teams in Martinique with the odd player who plays in Europe. They will really be competing with Haiti to see who finishes last. Martinique gets their Gold Cup started on July 11th at 6:30 PM.
Haiti is another play-in team that punched their ticket winning four to one over Bermuda. They have gotten some decent results in the past but as of late they have either played and beaten poor competition or played and lost to good competition. Haiti will play the United States on July 11th at 8:30 PM.
Part two coming soon
There you have it, there’s all you need to know on the Gold Cup 2021: Part 1. Part two of our Gold Cup 2021 preview will be here later this afternoon. In part two will look at Groups C and D to round out the 16 team field. Be sure to look out for that to get you ready for tomorrow’s start to Gold Cup 2021!
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