ConCaCaf Gold Cup Qtr Finals 07/19/17 Lincoln Financial Field

The 2017 ConCaCaf Gold Cup comes to Lincoln Financial Field for a Quarter Final double header. This is your mostly the facts preview for the two matches.

The Gold Cup is a Biennial tournament held by ConCaCaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) which decides their continental champion. The winner of this, if they are in FIFA and ConCaCaf will face the 2019 winner in the ConCaCaf Cup to gain entry into the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The opener will feature Costa Rica vs. Panama at 6:15, but the main event for most of the crowd will be the United States vs. El Salvador scheduled for 9:15.  I say scheduled because this is a “knock-out” round so any match could go 120′ and then penalty kicks as the decider. There may well be “Hydration” breaks in these matches, as the heat and humidity continue to be high in Philadelphia.

USMNT is the only team out of this group to win the Gold Cup, which they have done 5 times, 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013.

How They Moved on in Gold Cup Group Play:

Costa Rica won Group A, 2-1-0, 7 pts, while Panama came in 2nd in Group B with the same result.

The US beat out Panama in that group due to one more goal scored, while El Salvador finished 3rd in Group C with a 1-1-1, 4 pt record.

Last Time Out:

All four teams come in off of wins so there is no momentum advantage.

The Tico’s easily handled French Guiana 3-0, and the the Canaleros beat Martinique by the same margin.

The Yanks also won by a 3-Nil score, while La Selecta held on for a 2-0 win over Curacao.

Matchup History:

Costa Rica has the best of this series 29-10-11, with the last match coming in the latest FIFA World Cup in group play on 9/7/16, as CR won 3-1

The US owns a 17-5 advantage over El Salvador. They easily handled ES in the 7/21/13 Gold Cup quarter final, 5-1.

The United States will be watching the first match closely as they meet Costa Rica in their next WC “The Hex” qualifier on 9/7/17 in Red Bull stadium, and Panama on 10/6 in Orlando. These matches and the rest of the Gold Cup, give the teams involved great scouting opportunities for those important games to come.

Philadelphia Union Ties:

While Alejandro Bedoya left the team in advance of his second child being born, Chris Pontius is still with the National club.

These Changes for the United States:

US Head Coach Bruce Arena made quite a few changes adding some fire power and goalie experience going into the knock-out round.

Replacing MF’s Kelyn Rowe and Cristian Roldan, will be Michael Bradley and Darlington Nagbe. Forward Dom Dwyer leaves for Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey. Two Goalies Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson make way for Jesse Gonzalez and Tim Howard. It is expected veteran Howard will start in goal.

Fearless Forecast:

In match one, the overall record would certainly point to a Costa Rican victory over Panama, so I will call that a 2-1 win for the Tico’s

With the United States bringing in veteran and rested players, they should have little problem beating El Salvador 3-1.

Yours truly will be at the Linc covering this one for It should be a great atmosphere with the USMNT and it’s accompanying supporters, the “American Outlaws” in the house.  I want to thank my colleagues at PatAve, Jay and Mike, who will be in the Outlaw band, and ConCaCaf for affording me this special opportunity.

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