Mexico Still Favored by Sportsbooks at 2017 Gold Cup
The group stage of the 2017 Gold Cup is over and sportsbooks in the U.S. still favor Mexico to win its eighth edition of the biennial international men’s football championship of the North, Central American and Caribbean region organized by CONCACAF – and fourth in the last five. El Tri finished first in his group with a 2-1-0 record for seven points, with five goals for and one against (+4 goal differences). The Aztec Warriors will meet Honduras in the 1/4finals this Thursday night in Glendale, Arizona. The way things look, head coach Juan Carlos Osorio will have served his six-match suspension from FIFA by the time the Cup is through. All the more impressive considering this is the B team; the A squad was at the Confederations Cup. And they still have to go through some tough competition such as Costa Rica.
The Americans also won their group with the exact same record as Mexico as well as the same goal differential. They will face El Salvador in the quarterfinals. And the reward for the outstanding young men who got the team thus far? They get to go home to make room for the likes of Tim Howard, Jesse Gonzalez, Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, Jozy Altidore, and Clint Dempsey. “We have added some experienced players to the roster that can help us in the knockout round of the Gold Cup,” head coach Bruce Arena said in a press release from U.S. betting Soccer. “The players leaving [Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe and Dom Dwyer] all made a good impression, and I’m optimistic for their future with the national team program.” These additions will certainly boost the Unite States national team’s stock at most offshore sportsbooks and it’s all within the rules of the competition before anyone calls shenanigans. Arena was afforded the opportunity to swap up to six players and he did so, while Mexico opted to maintain the same roster.
The Central Americans finished their group same as Mexico and USA. They will go up against Jamaica next. The Costa Rican had been shooting blanks, scoring just two goals in 180 minutes until they took advantage of poor little French Guiana. “The return of the goal was very important for the team and for the forwards because [in the 1-1 draw] against Canada we created many chances but the goals did not come,” striker Marco Ureña of the San Jose Quakes said. “Today we won decisively so that is important for the confidence that it gives us.” New York City FC player Rodney Wallace added that “this was a must-win for us” but “I wouldn’t say that it is the win that is going to guide us through to the title. I think that we’ve had better performances, but it’s a long tournament and we have to take it as it comes.” Ureña went on to say that “they have called us favorites because we came into the tournament with a full team.” Sportsbooks beg to differ, though; as mentioned above, Mexico enter the tourney as faves and they remain so.