The two pre-competition favorites meet in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019 when the United States take on Mexico at the Soldier Field in Chicago, IL on Sunday (9pm ET, live on FS1 / Unimás).
These two teams have dominated the Gold Cup since it replaced the CONCACAF Championship in 1991. They have won 13 of the 14 titles in that time, with Mexico taking seven of them and USA claiming six. They have contested the final five previous times.
The top rated U.S. bookmakers unsurprisingly had them down as the two most likely teams to triumph this time around and so it has proved. Both won their respective groups with three wins out of three and then progressed from there to set up Sunday’s final.
To get there, USMNT came through a weather-delayed match against Jamaica that began on Tuesday and finished on Wednesday, Independence Day. They started well, and took an early lead through Weston McKennie before lightning bolts brought proceedings to a halt. When the teams returned to action nearly two hours later, Jamaica had regrouped.
Things were more even thereafter. Chrisian Pulisic did double his side’s lead early into the second half, but then Jamaica pushed forward, got one back, and threatened to get another. Team USA struggled to hold the ball or effectively defend their area. They were thankful to avoid a nervous last few minutes as Pulisic pounced on a rebound to finish from inside the area.
It was another match with plus and minuses for Gregg Berhalter and his side. They always seem to start well: they have scored in the first 30 minutes of three of their five matches so far. There are signs of the sort of movement and passing interchanges he is looking for. They again struggled to control the match once ahead, and looked too passive once Jamaica began to commit men forward in search of a way back into it.
Berhalter is just a few months into the job and such inconsistencies are perhaps to be expected at this stage. Certainly, a trophy would help bolster support for his work. “We have been together for over a month and from the beginning we have talked about our goals and objectives,” he said after the win over Jamaica. “One of our goals is to win the Gold Cup. Advancing is good for the confidence of the group.”
Next up are a Mexico side also adjusting to the requirements of a new head coach. Like Berhalter, Gerardo Martino took over at the start of the year, and he is still putting his ideas into practice. Despite an impressive resume that includes league titles in Argentina, Paraguay and the United States (with Atlanta United last year) and three, losing, Copa America finals between Argentina and Paraguay, he will know that patience is thin in the Mexican press.
That much has been evident following a pair of unconvincing knockout triumphs over Costa Rica and Haiti. The former were eventually seen off on penalties following a 1-1 draw through normal and extra-time. The latter, the surprise team of the tournament, held Mexico through 90 minutes on Tuesday before a Raul Jimenez penalty gave Martino’s side victory. That last display was variously described as “pathetic,” “an embarrassment” and “sickening.”
In fairness, Martino was not exactly dealt a favorable hand by a number of his senior players requesting not to be called up to the tournament, while injury has also left him without Hirving Lozano, his most electrifying forward. Somewhat like the USA, his team have simply done what has been required of them to progress. Both teams will meet their toughest test on Sunday.
Our Betting Preview’s USMNT vs Mexico Predictions & Picks Verdict
USMNT triumphed 1-0 when these sides last met in a friendly last September, although Mexico employed an entirely CONCACAF-based squad for that fixture, so it is not necessarily representative. During the last World Cup cycle, Mexico won two and drew one of their three encounters. They were also victorious the last time these sides met in the Gold Cup, in a 4-2 win in the 2011 final.
Neither side has been particularly convincing at this tournament, and it feels as if the final could easily go either way. Given their displays to date, Mexico seem a bit short in the betting odds, so this preview feels it is worth backing the United States to come out on top in what is likely to be an open encounter. Our USA vs Mexico prediction with the oddsmakers are:
- Bet on United States to win this CONCACAF Gold Cup Final in normal time @ +250 with Bovada Sportsbook on the moneyline.