FIVE things to watch out for at the CONCACAF Gold Cup

Updated: July 5, 2015

The CONCACAF Gold Cup is just around the corner and the United States are looking to defend their trophy on home soil and also win their sixth title, tying them with Mexico for the most tournament wins.

Co-hosted by the USA and Canada, this is the 13th edition of the competition and also the tournament will host a third place playoff game for the first time since 2003. Here are FIVE things to watch out for in this tournament.

  1. Clint Dempsey

The American was stripped of his country’s captaincy by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann after his actions in the US Open Cup whilst playing with his club side Seattle Sounders. In case you didn’t know, the 32-year-old ripped up a referee’s notebook on the field during a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on June 16. Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley has been named as his replacement as captain, but it will be interesting to see if Dempsey’s performances on the field take a hit because of the repercussions following the incident.

  1. Canada, 15 years on

This years’ tournament will see Canada co-host the tournament (well, I say that vaguely as they share it with the United States and only have the one venue) for the first time in their history. It is also 15 years on since they last won the Gold Cup. Besides the United States and Mexico, Canada is the only other nation to have won the tournament, after they defeated Colombia 2-0 in the final at L.A. Memorial Coliseum in 2000. Will they be able to repeat that performance this year?

  1. Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela is going to have to step up for his nation of Mexico as their main striker, Javier Hernandez, will be missing the tournament due to a broken collarbone. The Real Sociedad striker is therefore going to have to step up to fill his shoes. Vela only has 11 international goals from 39 appearances to his name whilst Hernandez has 40 goals from 74 appearances. This is some big shoes to fill for the 26-year-old. Can he do it? Nine goals from 29 La Liga appearances isn’t satisfying, but now is the time to shine.

  1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica also has one of their big players missing this Gold Cup through injury. Keylor Navas. The goalkeeper was instrumental in Costa Rica’s fantastic run in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and his performances earned him a move to Real Madrid latter that summer. No one expected Costa Rica to make it out of the group which included England, Italy and Uruguay but they did. With hard times falling on them again one year on, maybe they can once again surprise everyone who doubted them and go far in this competition. Maybe even win the tournament?

  1. DeAndre Yedlin

DeAndre Yedlin would be wise to use this Gold Cup to showcase himself to the world, as his current club, Tottenham Hotspur, want to send him out on loan next season to continue his development. Competition for the starting right-back spot at Spurs has heated up, as they have recently signed Kieran Trippier from Burnley, who joins Yedlin and current first team regular Kyle Walker in the position. The American has only made one appearance for the London club since joining in January this year, a substitute appearance in the Premier League in a 1-0 home loss against Aston Villa. The 21-year-old is very quick, a good dribbler, and has been known to play as a wide midfield player too. He will be showing off these skills in this tournament to try and find a suitable club for him to develop at next season.


Originally published on ‘The Beautiful Game Podcast’:

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