Group C will be headlined by the United States looking to make another final, but can Landon Donovan lead the US to glory in a triumphant return?
Finally we move on to Group C. The most relevant group for everyone involved with us I’d imagine. Americans will feel a real sense of optimism about this tournament, and they’ll be hoping for yet another final appearance.
For us as a betting community, you’ll be seeing a lot of bets come out of this group with the US and Costa Rica featuring heavily in my betting plans for this tournament as two of my favourites.
Cuba is another minnow that will feature in the competition. With the differing level of quality sides have bothered putting in to their squads, you should never write off teams like Cuba. That said, you can probably write off Cuba. They put on a dismal showing in 2011 that seen them finish bottom of the group.
Now I haven’t seen Cuba recently, but I’m told they play quite attractive football (or try to), and obviously possess some quality having won the Carribean Cup. But will they be able to topple two current CONCACAF World Cup qualifying power houses? Probably not.
Belize will likely be looking to do nothing more than have some fun and play against some great players in this tournament. The odds on Belize actually beating USA in their Jeld-Wen Field opener would return a lot of money off of a nothing bet – mainly because it won’t happen. Now again, haven’t seen a whole load of this side but the level of quality is obvious.
I’ve read in several places that their threat could be Deon McAuley, but really I imagine he’s just of good quality in comparison to their level. Best of luck in Portland, though, guys.
Led by Alvaro Sabario, Rica will take a slightly weakened squad missing the likes of Bryan Ruiz and co to the Gold Cup. That said, there’s still a fairly solid core of current world cup qualifier players, and Costa Rica have the depth to continue to progress in both tournaments.
Not sure whether or not this side will have the quality to win in, but they’ll compete with everyone and this group and will be somewhere in the top 2 for sure. This group also presents the feisty revenge for Costa Rica, who lost their qualifier on US soil (1-0) in absolutely farcical snowstorms.
The obvious favourites for the group and with the Mexicans fielding a weakened team and playing on US soil, my eventual winners of this year’s Gold Cup. Even with an MLS core, I have to be 100% honest and say I don’t see the US losing a game in this tournament.
I mean that. And although you all know I’m a huge fan of MLS and US Soccer, you also know there’s no real bias there because I’m English and have always lived here! Landon Donovan is back in the fray and he is the one who has the keys to unlock every single team in this tournament. He’ll show up big time after the qualifier snub.
United States 7pts
Costa Rica 7pts
For your next edition of Gold Cup Preview, check back tomorrow at 5pm GMT