Gold Cup 2009 Soccer Preview

In Case You're Wondering What's Up Next For USA Soccer, Check Out The Gold Cup, Starting This Weekend

7/1/09 in Soccer   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

Coming off the Confederations Cup, the next big tournament featuring US Soccer is the CONCACAF Championship or Gold Cup as it is more commonly known.

The Gold Cup is the North American, Central American and Caribbean regional championship. It is played biennially (every two years) and the winner is recognized as the best national team in the region. Occasionally the winner of the Gold Cup also qualifies for the FIFA Confederations Cup, although this happens only in the year that the Gold Cup is played before the Confederations Cup. So the winner of the 2009 Gold Cup will have bragging rights and will gain some in the FIFA World Rankings, but a win does not automatically qualify the winner for any other tournament.

The tournament is being hosted by the US this year. The US are the defending champions and are making their 10th appearance in the tournament and are four time champions, having won in 1991, 2002, 2005 and 2007.

Much like other major soccer tournaments, the Gold Cup features a group stage. The top two teams in each group after group play qualify for the Knockout Round where you either win or you go home.

There are 12 teams in the Gold Cup this year. Other than the US, the tournament features Mexico making their 10th appearance and they are also 4 time winners. Joining the US and Mexico are:
  • Canada - 9th appearance
  • Jamaica - 7th appearance
  • Grenada - 1st appearance
  • Guadeloupe - 2nd appearance
  • Haiti - 4th appearance
  • Panama - 4th appearance
  • Costa Rica - 9th appearance
  • Honduras - 9th appearance
  • El Salvador - 6th appearance
  • Nicaragua - 1st appearance

The four teams contesting Group A are Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Jamaica. Costa Rica are the favorites in this group with 2nd being pretty much up for grabs.

The four teams contesting Group B are Grenada, Haiti, Honduras and the US. Look for Honduras and the US to advance from this group.

The four teams contesting Group C are Guadeloupe, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. Anything other than Mexico and Panama advancing from this group would be a huge upset.

The overall favorite in the tournament is Mexico. Mexico is bringing their premier, world cup quality line up to play in this tournament. Costa Rica will also be a strong challenger, given how well they have played in recent world cup qualifying and they too are bringing their "A" team.

The US will be a contender, but is not a favorite due to the roster the US is bringing to this tournament. Having recently played in the Confederations Cup, most of the best US players have had to go back to their club teams. Most club teams refused to release their US based players for back to back tournaments, so the US decided to send their best players to contest the Confederations Cup, which says something about the quality of the top US players today. 10 years ago club teams would have not cared about their US players, since most of them were bench warmers. Now that US players are big time starters, in a lot of cases, their club teams do not want to be without them for any longer than they have to. Obviously this is a huge advantage for Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. as they will have their best teams in play and the US will not.

So the US is sending their "B" or even "C" team into this Gold Cup, which should still mean they can advance from their group but I wouldn't expect the US to be able to advance to the final when Mexico and Costa Rica are sending their best teams.

Finally, the dark horses in this tournament are Panama and Honduras. Honduras because they have played well of late and play well on US soil and Panama because they have advanced to the Gold Cup final in the recent past and they always seem to play well in this tournament.

Games begin on July 4th with the US taking on Grenada. The Knockout Round begins on July 18th with the final on July 26th in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

Coming off the Confederations Cup, do you think you'll watch the Gold Cup and see what the US can do? And who do you think will win?


For more information about the Gold Cup, check out the CONCACAF website.
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9/10/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

MarkTheShark wrote:
I'd like to see it...but I think that is wishful thinking

Agreed... better off hoping that El Salvador can beat Costa Rica.

9/9/09   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

trejosolga wrote:
09/09/09 honduras 3 mexico 2

I'd like to see it...but I think that is wishful thinking

9/9/09   |   trejosolga

09/09/09 honduras 3 mexico 2

9/6/09   |   fivicomidoy

whoa love it!!

8/28/09   |   swanmagc

they need less $

7/4/09   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

BluDevil wrote:
Wow, good call. I didn't expect that with how well Costa Rica handled the US the last time they played. That does put El Salvador in the drivers seat in Group A.

honestly I thought that El Salvador would forge a draw with the Ticos..not beat them

7/4/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

MarkTheShark wrote:
BOOM! ..on cue: Salvador beats Costa Rica 2-1

Wow, good call. I didn't expect that with how well Costa Rica handled the US the last time they played. That does put El Salvador in the drivers seat in Group A.

7/4/09   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

MarkTheShark wrote:
I think El Salvador might advance from Group A, they have been really playing well of late.

BOOM! ..on cue: Salvador beats Costa Rica 2-1

7/2/09   |   drn0iswatr   |   731 respect

TurkogluForMVP wrote:
Captain Obvious.

I agree. I will watch every match I can and go out of my way to watch them.  I love USA soccer and hope other people follow. What else is there to watch anyway? MLB...ok...WNBA?... count me out ...and NASCAR... ill tune in at the end even if nothing else is on. So Gold Cup you better be in HD haha. Who's showing it? FSC?

 thanks. ;)

7/1/09   |   TurkogluForMVP   |   50 respect

BluDevil wrote:

In the US English language coverage of games involving the US, as well as one game from each round of the knockout stages even if the US is not involved, will be on Fox Soccer Channel (DirecTV channel 619 I think).

All tournament games will receive Spanish language coverage split between Galavision, TeleFutura, and Univision. So as long as you don't mind lots of "pelota", and "el gran final", and "GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL" you can watch all the games on any of the Spanish language channels you receive.

I usually rather watch the games on the Spanish language channels, just because the camera angles are usually better and the commentators just seem like they are way more into the games.

Give me a chance to commentate USA games and I'll change your mind... no shame here.

7/1/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

TurkogluForMVP wrote:
Captain Obvious.

I agree. I will watch every match I can and go out of my way to watch them.  I love USA soccer and hope other people follow. What else is there to watch anyway? MLB...ok...WNBA?... count me out ...and NASCAR... ill tune in at the end even if nothing else is on. So Gold Cup you better be in HD haha. Who's showing it? FSC?

In the US English language coverage of games involving the US, as well as one game from each round of the knockout stages even if the US is not involved, will be on Fox Soccer Channel (DirecTV channel 619 I think).

All tournament games will receive Spanish language coverage split between Galavision, TeleFutura, and Univision. So as long as you don't mind lots of "pelota", and "el gran final", and "GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL" you can watch all the games on any of the Spanish language channels you receive.

I usually rather watch the games on the Spanish language channels, just because the camera angles are usually better and the commentators just seem like they are way more into the games.

7/1/09   |   celticfc411   |   51 respect

I'm looking forward to the tournament. While it is far from a full-strength US squad, there are players on the team who are basically auditioning for a future role, and that tends to bring out the best in some. Brian Ching and Steve Cherundolo are coming back from injuries, and a strong performance from those two makes Bob Bradley's selection process for August a bit tougher. Charlie Davies gets a chance to continue to show that he belongs in the National Team picture. Freddy Adu needs this tournament to show that he's still making progress (and remember, in his defense, he's still very very young). Kenny Cooper, who has done decently in his starts, could make his case to be the big man to pair Jozy Altidore in later matches.

In defense, Jimmy Conrad and Michael Parkhurst have the most to gain. Neither are likely to force their way into the US starting back 4, but that part of the roster needs depth

In the midfield, Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers are the players I see making the strongest case for more playing time.

As for the goalkeepers...the best performer will gain the dubious honor of being the US 3rd string 'keeper, behind Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. It would take the tournament of a lifetime for any of Troy Perkins,  Jon Busch, and Luis Robles to make it to the back-up spot. That being said, the US GK depth chart is thinner than it has been in recent years, and the Gold Cup could serve to fill it out.

Who knows though? Some (relative) unknown could come through in a big way. I don't see the US as a favorite, but if the players decide that it's worth their time and energy, then I see the US in the final

Bring on Grenada!

7/1/09   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

THE_Smoot wrote:
The Viva Mexico - Home Depot sign made my day.

Definitely made mine too.  I could come up with a joke, but will hold back in good taste.  But sometimes the best jokes are the ones you can laugh about to yourself...

7/1/09   |   THE_Smoot   |   70 respect

The Viva Mexico - Home Depot sign made my day.

7/1/09   |   Seachickenhawk

TurkogluForMVP wrote:
Captain Obvious.

I agree. I will watch every match I can and go out of my way to watch them.  I love USA soccer and hope other people follow. What else is there to watch anyway? MLB...ok...WNBA?... count me out ...and NASCAR... ill tune in at the end even if nothing else is on. So Gold Cup you better be in HD haha. Who's showing it? FSC?

It looks like FSC is showing only the US games and perhaps some games later in the tournament.

7/1/09   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

I think El Salvador might advance from Group A, they have been really playing well of late.

7/1/09   |   TurkogluForMVP   |   50 respect

drn0iswatr wrote:
 I would definitely watch it - I think the more the US can show they can hang with the other countries the more viewership will sky-rocket. (Call me Captain Obvious)

Captain Obvious.

I agree. I will watch every match I can and go out of my way to watch them.  I love USA soccer and hope other people follow. What else is there to watch anyway? MLB...ok...WNBA?... count me out ...and NASCAR... ill tune in at the end even if nothing else is on. So Gold Cup you better be in HD haha. Who's showing it? FSC?

7/1/09   |   drn0iswatr   |   731 respect

 I would definitely watch it - I think the more the US can show they can hang with the other countries the more viewership will sky-rocket. (Call me Captain Obvious)

7/1/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

Raider_Dave wrote:
It would be awesome if the US can build off of their momentum from the Confederations Cup and win the Gold Cup.  It will prove a lot if they can learn from how the Brazil game went and build off of it instead of regressing because of it.  I would have to think that Mexico would be the favorite, but I think the US can pull off a strong showing and a win here.

I just hope that US sports fans will tune in to see this the way they did the confed cup. But this US roster isn't going to be nearly as exciting as the one that beat Spain and almost shocked Brazil.

7/1/09   |   Raider_Dave   |   47 respect

It would be awesome if the US can build off of their momentum from the Confederations Cup and win the Gold Cup.  It will prove a lot if they can learn from how the Brazil game went and build off of it instead of regressing because of it.  I would have to think that Mexico would be the favorite, but I think the US can pull off a strong showing and a win here.