The 2021 Gold Cup is highlighted for American fans by Group B, where the United States Men’s National Team is featured with Canada, Martinique, and Haiti. For the USMNT, they will call Kansas City home for the entire group stage, which should mean a very raucous home field advantage. Still, the group contains some teams that are poised to challenge the Americans for group supremacy. We preview this group and each of its teams’ chances to advance to the knockout stage.
Sunday, July 11
Canada vs. Martinique
USA vs. Haiti
Thursday, July 15
Haiti vs. Canada
Martinique vs. USA
Sunday, July 18
Martinique vs. Haiti
USA vs. Canada
The Concacaf Nations League champions are here with a fresh group, with the majority of that team being given time off to rest during the summer. The players on the Gold Cup roster are mostly MLS-based players, but all will be seeking to prove that they can be a player head coach Gregg Berhalter can call upon when World Cup qualifying comes around. They will want to get the Gold Cup started off right by showing they’re the class of Group B.
FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 20/23
Recent Record: The USMNT are 7-1-0 in 2021, with their lone loss coming on the road against Switzerland. Their record includes victories at Northern Ireland and against Mexico in the Nations League Final.
Odds of Winning Group: Favorite
One to Watch: Orlando City forward Daryl Dike has fast risen up the #9 depth chart. Since he went on loan to Barnsley during the winter, he has been on fire, and he culminated that with his first goal for the USMNT last month. He will be someone to watch to see if he can dominate on the scoresheet.
Canada is on a high entering this tournament, as they recently qualified for the final round of World Cup qualifying for the first time since the 1998 World Cup cycle. They’re now one of the teams that has the most confidence entering the Gold Cup, and they want to show that they’re ready to be truly considered one of the top teams in the region. It will be a test for them to emerge from the group as the winners or runners-up, but they appear to be up for the task.
FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 70/42
Recent Record: Les Rouges have had a perfect 2021 so far, going 6-0. In doing so, they qualified for the Octagonal round of World Cup qualifying. The best team they defeated was Haiti, who they beat twice in the Second Round of qualifying in order to advance to the Octagonal round this fall.
Odds of Winning: In the Running
One to Watch: Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies is here as a forward, and he’s hoping to carry Canada on his back. The former Vancouver Whitecaps star normally is a wingback for Bayern, but you’ll see him utilized up front for Canada, and he will try to be the one that takes Canada all the way to the end.
Martinique is one of Concacaf’s members that is not a member of FIFA. But, they have a decent history recently of making the Gold Cup and performing admirably. They have made the group stage of the past 2 Gold Cups and won a match each time. Doing that this time around will give them a chance on the final matchday to advance out of the group.
FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: NR/98
Recent Record: Their last matches came during Concacaf Nations League in 2019, where they survived in League A and will remain there in the next edition of the tournament. The Gold Cup will be their first matches in 2021.
Odds of Winning: Dark Horse
One to Watch: Midfielder Daniel Hérelle is the most-capped player in Martinique’s history, and he’s the heart and soul of the team. He will be called up to command the midfield and help drive the attack forward.
Haiti qualified for the Gold Cup by beating St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Bermuda in the Prelims, but they also enter the tournament with heavy hearts and minds focused on the turmoil back home after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse early yesterday morning. They will want to perform well to honor his memory, and they have some guys that have incredible skill on the ball and can quickly make you pay. They hope to be more than a dark horse in this group.
FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 83/74
Recent Record: Haiti is 5-2-0 (W-L-D) in 2021. Their only losses came to fellow Group B team Canada in the Second Round of World Cup qualifying. While they were denied a chance to make the Hexagonal, their play in the Prelims earned them one of the final spots in the Gold Cup field.
Odds of Winning: Dark Horse
One to Watch: Haitian forward Frantzdy Pierrot has been on fire lately. A man who calls Ligue 2 side Guingamp home, he scored 4 goals in the Gold Cup prelims to carry Haiti into the group stage. He’ll be counted on to continue his torrid pace if Haiti is to get out of the group.
Who will advance from Group B? What matches are most interesting to you? Let us know in the comment section.