Mexico strong favourites in our Gold Cup outright tips
FootyOn writers pick out their Gold Cup outright tips as the CONCACAF tournament draws close.
Pitting nations from around the Americas and Caribbean against one another, the competition has been won by Mexico a record seven times in 13 instalments.
A total of 12 teams qualified for this year’s tournament.
Three berths were allocated to North America, four to Central America, four to the Caribbean, and one to the winners of the play-off between the two fifth-placed teams of the Caribbean zone and the Central American zone.
So, with the likes of the USA, Honduras and Jamaica on show, we’ve picked out three Gold Cup outright tips…
Mexico to lift the cup
El Tri may be without stars Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela after their Confederations Cup escapades, but come into this competition with a strong selection.
Juan Carlos Osorio’s outfit are out to make it four wins out of their last five Gold Cup outings, with the festival of football held in the US again this year.
Mexico face El Salvador, Jamaica and 2017 Caribbean Cup winners Curacao in a group they should ease through.
El Tri have an unrivalled record in this competition, with seven wins from 13 appearances.
Erick Torres to be tournament top scorer
The Houston Dynamo striker was named in Mexico’s squad after Alan Pulido pulled out due to injury.
However, expect no dip in quality and the 24-year-old to star this summer.
Nicknamed ‘El Cubo’, he has 12 goals and two assists in the current MLS season from only 17 games, just one goal away from drawing level with the Dynamo’s best goalscoring tally in a single season.
In this sort of form and eager to fill Pulido’s boots, expect Torres to get off to a flyer and net throughout, finishing the competition as top scorer.
USA to reach the final
Bruce Arena’s USA side are in the opposite section of the draw to Mexico and could well meet yet again in the final.
Emulating the five times the two nations have met at that stage in the Gold Cup, with El Tri winning every one.
Nonetheless, the Stars and Stripes are in a group stacked with minnows.
Panama, Martinique and Nicaragua are the nations they face in the group stage and, with the quality they possess throughout their ranks, should push past most nations.
They will likely meet old foes Mexico in the final, could they finally settle their Gold Cup hoodoo?
Either way, back the USA to reach the final.