When the Gold Cup begins in Pasadena on Sunday evening, Real Salt Lake will be hit hardest, losing captain Beckerman and 3 others key components.
As if losing veteran Kyle Beckerman wasn’t enough; RSL will have to contend with the impending departures of Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran and Alvaro Sabario. That’s arguably 4 out of 5 that combine the Salt Lake spine.
Only Colorado, LA, Montreal and New England are lucky enough to say they’re not affected by the tournament, but fellow table topping Portland will also be hit hard, losing 3 key players.
Frederic Piqquione has found form in recent weeks, Will Johnson has been the engine room of the team and Rodney Wallace is showing why he’s one of the most improved players in Major League Soccer.
It’s an equal burden to most MLS clubs. With the way in which World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup both overlap with the Gold Cup this year, it strengthens the argument that the tournament should be taken more seriously, and be hosted once every four years.
As relevant as knowing our players in the Gold Cup will be for betting purposes, equally important is recognising that gaps that are left behind, with 3 MLS fixture lists in the next 10 days.
On top of the woes of Portland and Real Salt Lake, a combined 29 players from 15 MLS clubs are set to participate in Gold Cup action, and despite the competition taking place on US Soil and not starting until next week, many clubs have pre-tournament friendlies lined up.
Click here to download the full list of CONCACAF Absentees
The USA are set to play Guatemala on Friday evening, whilst Canada meet Martinique in the opening game on Sunday, meaning players will begin to link up with their respective countries training camps as early as Wednesday this week.
We’ll be looking ahead to Wednesday evening’s games early this week with a view to grabbing early value. I have already personally placed my tips at the end of the weekend, knowing that the lines will shift heavily in the Chicago-San Jose and RSL-Union games.
Be sure to check the full list of Gold Cup participants, and exercise caution when betting.
For your next edition of Gold Cup Preview, check back tomorrow at 5pm GMT