Gold Cup Predictions
Gold Cup: Detailed Analysis with LeagueLane
The biennial tournament to determine the champions of North American, Central American and Caribbean regions will be jointly hosted by United States, Costa Rica and Jamaica.
The three-week long competition will be covered by the expert football analysts of League Lane, and do drop in to receive detailed tips of upcoming games.
The 2019 edition is already generating some buzz with the presence of some great teams, and players. It’s also intended to be a hunting ground for scouts from major clubs as most teams are targeting generational baton-changes, and upheaval.
Mexico and United States have totally dominated this tournament ever since its inception. This being the 15th edition, 13 of the previous 14 trophies were shared between the two, with Mexico taking the cap at 7. The duopoly was challenged just once by Canada in 2000, the only year when the US failed to make the semis.
The two teams are once again tipped to make deep runs into the competition. Mexico is sure to torment the rest of the squads after the confidence they have built from a solid display at the world cup. The team managed to squeeze into the Round of 16 after delivering a shock loss to then defending champions Germany, and put them at the bottom of the group as well.
United States will be a major contender with their host status. The team is in a phase of rebuilding, and players are determined to bring the craze of the sport back to the nation after the debacle at the World Cup Qualifiers.
Gold Cup 2019 Groups and Teams
For the first time in its history, the Gold Cup is about to feature 16 teams. The list is divided into four groups comprising of four squads each. And I must say the classification seems to pretty balanced.
The heavyweights are not clustered together, while giving proper fighting chances for the minnows.
Six-time champion Mexico will begin their campaign from Group A, in company with 2000-edition champion Canada.
Costa Rica will be the major presence in Group B, complemented by the likes of Haiti and Nicaragua.
Group C seems to be up for the grabs for the four teams involved. Curacao, El Salvador etc must be viewing this as more of an opportunity to showcase their talents and to gain some experience rather than as a fight.
Group D has United States. Enough said. The remaining three will be contesting for the second qualifying spot.
• Group A: Mexico, Canada, Martinique, and Cuba
• Group B: Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Bermuda
• Group C: Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Curacao
• Group D: United States, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana
Who are the favorites to win Gold Cup 2019?
Mexico seems to be up for the challenge. They will be vying to tally the number of championships at seven along with US. The last four editions were evenly and alternatively split between the two, and it should be Mexico’s chance to lift the cup this time.
But, the home advantage, the desperation to prove themselves in front of the world stage after failing to acquire qualification to the World Cup, and the presence of some truly great players who have been tearing it up in Europe – tips the scale in States’ favor.
The sport has seen some major growth in the country, amply aided by the Major League. A triumph in the Gold Cup will take it to even greater heights, and importantly, it would be the redemption the fans and players have been eagerly waiting for.
Costa Rica had a whirlwind of a world cup in the 2014 tournament, where they made a run into last eight, ultimately being done by a penalty shootout by the Netherlands. 2018, though, was a different story. They were pitted against Brazil of all teams in the group stages, and then later against the likes of Switzerland, and Serbia.
Suffice it to say, the team couldn’t replicate their Brazil success. The team has not had chances to recuperate after the tiring campaign. But the hunger to get back to form, and the presence of the inspirational but wounded Keylor Navas anoints them as the black sheep of the lot.
Navas was unceremoniously asked to step back for the incoming Thibaut Courtois at Real Madrid, after winning three Champions Leagues in a row. For sure, the keeper is hurt, and raring to get back his top dog status.
And to be honest, rest of the teams apart from Mexico and United States, do not even pose a reasonable challenge. Costa Rica could cause some major upsets in the Cup.
Players to Watch
Christian Pulisic will be dealing with great amounts of pressure in the coming months. The star player will be the major attraction for American fans in their quest to rejuvenate the sport.
After a stellar career at Borussia Dortmund, the winger has been transferred to Europa League champion Chelsea, where he’s supposed to fill the shoes of Eden Hazard in all probability.
This June, passionately cheered by home fans, Christian could deliver some massive damage to opposition, and to be honest, there would be no better way to start his English career.
Another player to keep eyes on would be Hirving Lozano of Chelsea. He simply was amazing in the Eredivisie this season, and his team PSV almost planted their lips on the league trophy. They were unlucky to be included in a monstrosity of a group that included Barcelona, Tottenham and Inter Milan, in the Champions League, but still, the player shined, and was even in the radars of Camp Nou management, as a potential replacement for the aging Luis Suarez.
Here’s to another exciting three weeks of football in the American continent!