|Group A||Group B||Group C|
|C1||United States||C1||United States|
What's all this then?
As an experiment, I've decided to post daily predictions of how the Gold Cup's going to turn out after each day of matches. Now that each group has one game in, it seems like a great time to start.
The purpose isn't to show how clever I am; indeed, the opposite will probably happen. I'm just interested to see how my predictions evolve over the course of the tournament. At this stage, a third of the way through the group stage, most of us probably think we have a decent handle on most of these teams. Well, I want to find out. So here's my prediction for today, complete and unedited through the end of the tournament. Then we'll see if anything changes tomorrow.
Notes on predictions for June 10: El Salvador's going to be gutted at the last-second equalizer they allowed to Costa Rica, but a draw still puts them in a pretty good position. I, frankly, expected them to lose that game, but that point is all-important. Why? Let's suppose that the United States will beat both Panama and Guadeloupe, which you'll agree is likely. If you think (as I do) that Canada will also beat both teams, the third-place team in Group C is going to have at most three points (the winner of Panama - Guadeloupe). El Salvador has one point and is very likely to beat Cuba, giving them four and thus sending them to the knockout stage. Their goal differential is likely to be the worst among the three third-place teams but it's not going to matter.
Beyond that, I'm not predicting any changes. El Salvador advancing instead of Panama juggles the knockout round bracket but it just means that Mexico and the United States will each play a different also-ran in the quarter-final. Yes, I know about the doping scandal. But until we hear what's happening to Mexico in the Tainted Chicken Affair, I'm still predicting them to win the tournament.