Archive for the Internationals Category

Gold Cup Preview

Posted in Football, Internationals with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by kemgooner

Gold Cup

This weekend marks the start of the Concacaf Gold Cup with two matches today and two more on Saturday and Sunday.  As usual the two top contenders for the trophy are going to be the United States and Mexico.

The United States are the defending champions of the Gold Cup, and are coming off a Confederations Cup performance that saw them beat then World number one Spain and get into the final, which they lost 2-3 to Brazil, the team which took Spain’s number one ranking. However, coach Bob Bradley has elected to bring very few  members of that squad to the Gold Cup, opting to give chances to more domestic based players instead.

Players to Watch:

Goalkeeper- Brad Guzan– a member of the Confederations Cup squad that beat Egypt 3-0 to shock everyone and make it out of their group, Guzan plays his club football at Aston Villa and will be looking at the Gold Cup as an opportunity to show he can do more than just back up Tim Howard.

Midfielder- Benny Feilhaber– another member of the Confederations Cup squad, Benny scored the winner in the last Gold Cup final against Mexico. Currently playing for Aarhus in Denmark, he will be looking to perform well to perhaps make a move back to a bigger league.

Forward- Freddy Adu– while Jozy Altidore is another US attacking player to watch, Freddy Adu is the player who needs to perform in this tournament.  Adu went as an unused substitute at the Confederations Cup and is coming off two disappointing club seasons at Benfica and Monaco.  A good performance in the Gold Cup could go a long way to seal his spot in the US team ahead of the World Cup and also put pressure on his club side to play him more in the future.

Mexico is coming into the Gold Cup after two warm up friendlies against Venezuela and Guatemala, the first of which they won 4-0 and the second they drew 0-0.  Before this Mexico were going through a challenging period of internationals which means they are just fourth in their World Cup Qualifying group.  A win in the Gold Cup could go along way to boast the team’s and their fans confidence ahead of next summer.

Players to Watch:

Goalkeeper- Guillermo Ochoa– the talented young Mexican keeper who plays for Club America in the Primera Division of Mexico is going to be hard to beat in the Mexican goal.

Attacking Midfielder– Giovani dos Santos- dos Santos scored his first two goals for the Mexican national team in their friendly against Venezuela and will look to continue scoring in the Gold Cup.

Forward- Carlos Vela– the  forward became just the second Mexican player to score in the Premier League when he scored for Arsenal against Portsmouth in May, he will look to add to his 5 international goals playing aside Omar Bravo up front.

While no non-North American team has ever won the Gold Cup there are several other teams to watch that are going to hope to change that.

Costa Rica– Los Ticos are leading their World Cup qualifying group and have recently defeated the United States showing they have what it takes to cause an upset.

Honduras– Another team putting in a strong WCQ campaign, they will hope to use a strong Gold Cup performance to keep in them in the hunt for South Africa.

Matches:

The Gold Cup kicks off today with Canada taking on Jamaica and Costa Rica facing off against El Salvador. The following games this weekend are:

7/4

Honduras vs Haiti

Grenada vs United States

7/5

Panama vs Guadeloupe

Nicaragua vs Mexico

The full Gold Cup schedule can be found here.