On Sunday, the United States and Mexico will meet in the Gold Cup Final for the sixth time in the competition’s history. The two titans of CONCACAF have won 13 of the 14 Gold Cup tournaments since the competition was rebranded, and they were the two overwhelming favorites to win this year’s event. Mexico have emerged victorious in four of the five previous finals matches between these two rivals, but the United States are defending champions and are hosting the tournament.
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- United States vs. Mexico
- Date and Time: July 7, 2019, 9:15 p.m. ET
- Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
- US Television Coverage: FS1
- Betting Line: Mexico -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
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Both of these teams were dominant in the Group Stage. Mexico had no problem dismantling Cuba in their first match and knocked off Canada and Martinique to finish their Group Stage undefeated. Meanwhile, the United States blasted both Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, but they had a little trouble with Panama in their final match of the Gold Cup Group Stage.
Neither country looked great once the knockout rounds got underway. El Tri faced a difficult test from Costa Rica in the quarterfinals and were close to being sent out. They needed penalty kicks to escape with a win, and Haiti proved to be a significant challenge too. The two countries played to a scoreless draw in the first 90 minutes before a dubious penalty led to Mexico advancing with a 1-0 win. In both matches, El Tri fired more than 20 shots and controlled the possession battle, but they couldn’t finish in the final third.
As for the Americans, they were sizable favorites against tiny Curacao in the quarterfinals, but they only managed to win 1-0. They missed a number of opportunities, and the defending was not great in the second half. Curacao ended up winning the statistical battle, but Zack Steffen came up big in net to preserve the win.
The USMNT looked much better on the attack against Jamaica, but the back line posed the same problems it did against Curacao. Jamaica had some solid chances, particularly as the game went on, despite a 3-1 score line.
United States Player to Watch
This is Christian Pulisic’s team. He should be wearing the armband by now, and his play (as well as Weston McKennie) in the midfield has made all the difference in the last two wins for the USMNT. Pulisic notched a brace in the second half against Jamaica to send the United States through to the final, and he has stepped up with the forwards having trouble finishing at this tournament.
Mexico Player to Watch
Raul Jimenez has been the catalyst for Mexico in the knockout rounds. Jimenez leads the team with five goals at the Gold Cup, and he scored Mexico’s only two goals at this stage. The Wolves forward is a grinder that is always doing the little things to set teammates up, and his creativity has created the few good opportunities El Tri has had the last two games.
United States vs. Mexico Free Picks
This game is going to be higher scoring than the experts believe. I think Mexico will solve some of their problems against a USMNT squad that won’t turtle from the outset, and I see Jimenez and Uriel Antuna getting on the scorer’s sheet. The Americans’ lack of a great No. 9 will hurt them and lead to El Tri hoisting the Gold Cup in the Windy City.
United States vs. Mexico Prediction: Mexico 3, United States 1
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