The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup finals will end like nine out of the last 10, with either Mexico or the United States coming out on top. Both teams are playing their best soccer of the tournament right now; so it looks to be a tightly contested match from the get go
Date/Time: Saturday, June 25 at 9:00 P.M.
Venue: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California
Broadcast: Fox Soccer Channel
Mexico vs USA Betting Lines
[90 Mins + Injury Time Only] Money Line: Mexico +140, USA +190, Draw +210
[To Win] Money Line: Mexico Wins (-155), USA Wins (+120)
Over/Under: Over 2 goals (-140), Under 2 goals (+110) [90 mins + injury time only]
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Mexico vs USA Pick
For all but one time in the history of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in its current format, the winner has been Mexico or the United States. And the 2011 variety won’t be any different.
Each team got to this point in the tournament in polar-opposite journeys, but nonetheless, the sides will meet for the second consecutive time after Mexico defeated the United States, 5-0 in the 2009 Gold Cup.
Again, Clint Dempsey scored the game-winner in the 77th minute to lift the Americans over Panama in the semifinals on Wednesday night, getting the assist from US 2010 World Cup darling, Landon Donovan.
The United States has posted three clean sheets in their last three games and while having not put the same offensive numbers as Mexico, has made up for it with a dominating defensive campaign that could carry any team.
American forward Jozy Altidore, who scored two of USA’s six goals in the tournament, sat out the teams 1-0 semifinal victory over Panama after being ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. But Altidore’s teammates have stepped up since he went down in the team’s 2-0 win against Jamaica in the quarterfinal rematch from USA’s first ever group-play loss in Gold Cup history.
The game-winning goal in the team’s semifinal match was perfectly set up by former teen-phenom Freddy Adu, and Donovan, to give Dempsey the easy go-ahead goal. These three players will be key if the United States wants to come out of this one with a win.
The Yanks have been in a constant dogfight throughout the tournament, with their biggest victory being the 2-0 victory in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Mexico’s journey to these finals has been completely different.
El tri has outscored its opponents 18-2 throughout its five Gold Cup games so far, and until their semifinal match hadn’t been held without a goal in regulation once.
However, Mexico was faced with a completely different situation on Wednesday against Honduras when the match went over 90 minutes before the first goal was scored. The game was hard fought until the Mexicans scored two goals in the overtime period when Honduras seemed to just simply run out of gas.
Even though Mexico faced their toughest match of the tournament in their 2-0 win over Honduras, they’ll likely show up and give USA their toughest match of the Gold Cup.
The US has gotten lucky several times so far, and if they can’t capitalize on every opportunity that they get, they will surely be out played by Mexico’s extremely talented roster. Add the fact that one of American’s best players in Altidore will be sitting the match out, and the matchup starts to look like a much more lopsided, even when compared to 2009 when Mexico defeated the Americans so soundly.
The USA has a chance to overcome anything that Mexico can throw at them, but they must play consistent throughout, maintain long periods of possession and not letting up defensively. If they do, Mexico will run away with their sixth Gold Cup championship since 1991.
Matt’s Free Gold Cup Prediction: Take USA at +120 – Although all the facts point toward Mexico, when Donovan has come off the bench, the US is undefeated in the tournament. It’s looking like that will be the case yet again, and I think the team will rally around him for the victory. That and the fact that Mexico has yet to play against an elite goaltender like Tim Howard of USA in this Gold Cup.