2015 Gold Cup Semifinals Preview: Will Jamaica win?
After an enthralling quarterfinal round, one not without controversy see Mexico vs Costa Rica, the Gold Cup final four is set. The final four includes two participants who were expected to be there in the United States and Mexico and the two underdogs who are trying upset the CONCACAF rankings and signal a changing of the guard in Jamaica and Panama. Both games should be full of intrigue as regional pride, bragging rights and the ultimate prize, a place in the final, is at stake as tensions from each squad builds the closer we get to kickoff. Below are the previews for each matchup to get you ready for what should be a great spectacle.
United States vs Jamaica
The US squad not only enjoys a significant home field advantage but they also come into the semifinals buoyed by their best performance and result of the Gold Cup thus far in the 6-0 drubbing of an overmatched and undermanned Cuban team. Add to that a 26 game home winning streak across all competitions and a historical advantage of 13 wins 8 draws and only 1 loss all time against the Jamaicans, then the final result should seem to be obvious. However the Jamaicans come into this semifinal having not conceded a goal in their last three matches and also possess a lightning quick counter attack that should trouble the effective but slow United States backline. This should be rough and tough game between teams that are both suited for that kind of contest but the United States have that extra bit of quality that should see off a spirited Jamaican squad.
Mexico vs Panama
Despite having arguably the most talented squad at the Gold Cup, the Mexicans have really struggled to impose their will in all of their matches apart from the opener in which they destroyed a shorthanded Cuba team. They come up now against a tough Panamanian team who has played them close in their past four matches where both teams share two wins each. Panama has just survived a penalty shootout against Trinidad and Tobago and come into semifinal as the scrappy longshot after just making the quarterfinals as the one of the best third place finishers. Under normal circumstances this would deemed as a clear walk over in favour of the Mexicans but all is not well with that team so look for Panama to scare El Tri initially but eventually capitulating to the superior force.