The United States may have a big matchup in the Gold Cup quarterfinals tomorrow night, but that’s not the only matchups that will take place over the next couple days. Let’s take a look at all the quarterfinal matchups that will take place on Wednesday and Thursday:
Costa Rica vs. Panama
The Ticos won Group A and with it have the opportunity to face Panama, second place finishers in Group B. The Central American showdown should be an interesting game with the second highest scoring team in the tournament, Panama, facing off against Costa Rica, who have only allowed one goal in three games. Both teams excel at clogging up the midfield and holding their shape defensively so this could be an exciting game for fans of tactical battles. The winner of the match gets to play the winner of the USA vs. El Salvador game in the semi-finals.
Key Matchup: Panama vs. Graham Zusi, because somehow the USMNT player manages to figure in all of Panama’s results.
Prediction: Costa Rica 1-1 Panama with Los Canaleros advancing.
USA vs. El Salvador
Despite winning the group thanks to Gold Cup hero Matt Miazga and being spared the fate of playing Costa Rica in the quarters, Bruce Arena was still so intimidated by the prospect of facing El Salvador that he would go full Roland Deschain and empty his chamber of six roster changes ahead of the knockout rounds. The upgrades bring the USMNT roster to B+ levels as they take on Los Cuscatlecos, who finished third in Group C.
Key matchup: Graham Zusi vs. the touchline. The USMNT defender got to spoil Panama’s party yet again but he had some interesting touches and rushed passes that he’ll look to improve on if he gets the start against El Salvador.
Prediction: USA 3-1 El Salvador
Jamaica vs. Canada
It says a lot about this tournament that the most exciting player in it has been a 16-year-old Canadian but Alfonso Davies has had quite an impact for the Canadian Men’s National Team. Davies is tied for the tournament lead in goals scored and he hasn’t even started in every match. He will take on a Jamaica team that managed a victory and two draws on the way to the knockout stage. For their part, the Reggae Boyz feature Portland Timbers backup Darren Mattocks, while their best player at times in the tournament has looked like goalkeeper Andre Blake. Whoever wins will take on the team that comes out on top of the Mexico vs. Honduras match.
Key Matchup: Alfonso Davies vs. his curfew.
Prediction: Jamaica 1-2 Canada
Mexico vs. Honduras
The world waits with bated breath to see how Federacion Mexicana de Futbol will justify firing Juan Carlos Osorio after a tournament that he doesn’t manage a game in. It will be a tall order as El Tri have allowed just one goal in the tournament and will be facing a Honduras team that can’t score. For their part Honduras enters the knockout stages thanks to a 3-0 forfeit due to Malouda-gate. The CONCACAF rabbit hole got even deeper when Los Catrachos managed to get to the quarterfinals thanks to having a positive goal differential despite not scoring a single goal in the competition.
Key Matchup: Mexico’s fans for doing “The Chant” vs. FIFA sanctions against the team that have any lasting impact at stopping it in the future, you know, or not.
Prediction: Mexico 2-0 Honduras
What are your predictions for the quarterfinal matchups? Hit the comments and let us know!