The CONCACAF Gold Cup hits the business end this week with a mouth-watering pair on semifinals — Qatar vs. the United States and Mexico vs. Canada — on Thursday night before Sunday’s final in Las Vegas.
Here is a look at the four semi-finalists
CANADA: Next generation ready for bigger and better
Canada has made significant progress as a soccer nation in recent years, and their 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Sunday night may just have signaled a changing of the guard in terms of the CONCACAF hierarchy.
MEXICO: Martino’s side finding form at the right time
Facing a Honduras side diminished by injury and illness, Mexico found the perfect opponent to regain its confidence after a shaky group stage. El Tri was relentless in attack during the first half, finding three goals in 12 minutes and having two others disallowed from offside calls.
QATAR: Not here to make up the numbers
It probably should have happened earlier considering Qatar arrived at the Gold Cup as the defending Asian Cup champions, but while building a 3-0 lead against El Salvador on Saturday, something clicked in the minds of the viewing public: This team can play. As in, if the Qataris go on to win the Gold Cup, it shouldn’t be come as a shock. It would still take some good fortune, of course, but given their strong commitment to attacking soccer through four games, Qatar has been arguably the most entertaining team in the tournament.
UNITED STATES: Finally coming together
The victory by the U.S. men’s national team against Jamaica in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, highlighted the team’s growth in this tournament. Some players have experienced a steady climb, like center-backs Miles Robinson and James Sands. Matthew Hoppe went into overdrive to bag the game’s only goal.
Sunday, August 1 – Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV (Final) – Buy Gold Cup Tickets
Qatar vs USA Winner vs Canada vs Mexico Winner (8:30 pm ET)