The USMNT Wins Gold Cup over Mexico! The USA “B Team” has pulled off the unthinkable winning a tournament over a full-strength Mexico side. Miles Robinson headed home the goals only game in the 117th minute to secure the win! USA started the Gold Cup final with one player from their Nations League Final back in June, Mexico had seven players on the pitch that played in that match! It was a game that showed a lot about both of these Concacaf giants heading into the upcoming World Cup Qualifying.
USMNT Wins Gold Cup!
USA and Mexico now can look forward to 2022 World Cup Qualifying which kicks off in September, but both nations are in different spots heading there. USMNT will have the confidence from winning two major tournaments, the Nations League and Gold Cup, over Mexico. It brings new meaning to Dos-a-Cero. Mexico needs to figure out their identity as they might just be a powerhouse in the midst of a big dip in form.
USA is becoming an annoying team to play against
The USA has really began to show the type of style of play that head coach Gregg Berhalter wanted them to show when he took over a year-and-a-half ago. The USMNT are young, hungry, have a chip on their shoulder, and have fun. This has transended over the different rosters called in at this Gold Cup and the Nation’s League back in June.
The Nations League roster was seen as the top USA roster, while this Gold Cup roster was seen as the “B Team.” The overall goal for the Gold Cup was to bleed some of the younger fringe players in the player pool, while being competitive. This USMNT fit that bill and won the Gold Cup.
This team is becoming annoying to play against, an this is the role that they should embrace. They get under their opposition’s skin and eat away at them for the full 90/120 minutes, which ever is needed to get a win. As this team continues to grow together, they will need to keep this identity at the forefront. Head Coach Gregg Berhalter will use these two tournaments to show his players coming in for World Cup qualifying how to play and bend, but not break while getting results in difficult games.
Mexico loses second Cup final to USMNT this summer
Mexico is a different story. They failed to win the Nations League in June, but were the front runners to win the Gold Cup as they brought a loaded roster. What was essentially their first team went up against lesser competition in the whole tournament, including the final, but they coudln’t fulfil their expectations.
Head Coach Tata Martino will have his hands full to try to turn this around. That is, if he’s even still the teams coach when World Cup qualifying comes around. Mexico lacked a belief in the Gold Cup final. It almost looked like they expected the USA to not put up the type of fight they had been putting up in previous matches against them.
Could this be the start of a major dip in form for the Concacaf giants? They have dominated the region for what feels like forever. Now, coming off the back of losing two cup finals to their bitter rivals the USA, they have to ask questions about who they are. There’s no question Mexico can and should bounce back from this in World Cup Qualifying, but they’ll have to show heart that has been lacking as of late.
Men’s Concacaf play starts back up next month with 2022 World Cup Qualifying
Now with the Gold Cup being over, the tide will quickly turn to World Cup qualifying. The final eight nations are confirmed to appear in the final round of qualifying. They are: Canada, Honduras, El Salvador, USA, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Jamacia. These eight nations will play 14 matches against their opposition, seven at home, seven away to determine who makes it to Qatar 2022.
The top three nations at the end of the 14 matches will automatically qualify for the Tournament in Qatar, while the fourth place team will play an inter-contenental playoff over two legs to determine if they can go to Qatar or not. The matches will come fast and furious for these nations.
The Concacaf qualifying matches will be played in September, October, and November of 2021, and also January, and March of 2022. In these windows the nations will play three matches in a seven day stretch. It will be a ruling process, but it’s ones that the nations will need to be up for. It seems that the USA will be, and Mexico could be, but for the six other nation’s we’ll have to wait and see!
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Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire