Gold Cup 2011 Final

Posted on June 24, 2011 5:17 pm

With sites like mediotiempo and MLSSoccer abuzz with previews for tomorrow’s match, I will just add a few words here on the Regional Review. First, in case you have somehow miraculously avoided the information until now, here is the schedule for tomorrow (all times EST).

Saturday, June 25, 9:00 p.m.:

vs.

The second-straight “rematch” between the archrivals of CONCACAF at this stage (three consecutive encounters in total) will take place at a sold-out Rose Bowl in Pasadena California, with Fox Soccer Channel beginning its pregame coverage at 8:30 p.m. and Univision and 8:00 p.m.

It would have been interesting to see another country break into the main event for the first time since Panama in 2005 (the last time that guests teams were invited to the Gold Cup). Nonetheless, it is always a special occasion when the Final of a major tournament can also be classified as both a clasico and a derby, given the recent footballing history and the political, cultural, economic and geographic ties between the two finalists.

On form, Mexico should win their sixth Gold Cup trophy; the Chicharito-de Nigris forward pairing has proven to be the most lethal in the tournament, Barrera and Gio have been creating scoring chances with alarming regularity, and the defense has been solid, other than the gaffe that led to Guatemala’s goal in the quarterfinals. The United States, meanwhile, comes into this game without the only forward on the roster that has even scored a goal in the Gold Cup.

Then again, their top scorer Clint Dempsey will be available; more importantly, after a disappointing performance in the first game against Panama, Tim Ream got dropped from the starting lineup, with Bob Bradley preferring a defensive line of Cherundolo, Goodson, Bocanegra and Lichaj in front of Tim Howard. With Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley in front of them, the US will hope to keep themselves in the game long enough for Landon Donovan and (possibly) Juan Agudelo to grab a goal or two against the run of the play – a gameplan that in the past has worked too many times for Mexico’s liking.

After the game tomorrow, I’ll finish up with a recap congratulating the champion, along with a few words on all the participants in this year’s Gold Cup, especially with the Elementary Round of World Cup qualifying just around the corner for most of them.

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