Gold Cup Preview Group A
If you did not get enough international soccer with the Confederations Cup with Germany as champions this past month, then be on the lookout for the Gold Cup starting July 7th. Twelve international teams in the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) will be taking the stage in the United States to face off for the Gold Cup from July 7th – July 24th. Here is quick preview of what is to come in July as we experience a lull in the summer with basketball coming to a close and the NFL is just out of reach to start making your fantasy teams.
Group A: Honduras, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Canada.
Beginning with Group A, Honduras finds themselves as the seeded team (top team) after winning the 2017 Copa Centroamerica title. Honduras is a respectable team that defensively has shown to be a competitor, it’s whether or not they have the firing power to put it in the back of net. They should be able to receive that firing power with Alberth Elis, Oscar Boniek Garcia, and Romell Quioto. These three have been playing together at the Houston Dyanmo and the three of them should have the chemistry to get out of the knockout stage and into the next round.
Prediction 2nd place coming out of the group stage
Costa Rica is coming in as a silent competitor and can surprise a lot of teams as they did in the World Cup 2014. I expect Costa Rica to have a good performance with six players coming out of the MLS to play in the tournament and of course you cannot count out Arsenal Midfielder Joel Campbell. If you are looking for a team to watch other than Mexico and the United States then Costa Rica is your team to make a run not only for the semi-finals but potentially the finals.
Prediction 1st place coming out of the group stage
Canada looks to compete but comes into the Gold Cup with a stew of both young and experienced players. The squad of the 23 has 14 players that have never played in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament with potentially one of the youngest to play for Canada, Alphonso Davies currently playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. One potential motivation that may help the Canadian team is though they are unable to qualify for the World Cup in 2018 they can show the CONCACAF what to look forward for the World Cup 2022.
Prediction 3rd place coming out of the group
Lastly, French Guiana rounds out Group A with Americans googling where they are located in Caribbean. French Guiana can be happy to be qualified for the tournament and look to open eyes where most players are coming from the lower French Division expect defender from PSG Kevin Rimane. The only confidence I see from this team is they have won games against other teams that no one has heard from. The positive is that they have won 4 out of their last 5 so they know how to win.
Prediction 4th place.