In an hour or less the US meets Mexico to decide the CONCACAF Gold Cup title. The US has come off second best in the two previous finals between both countries in 1993 and 1998. So they will be trying to overcome a jinx. However, they have been dominant against Mexico this decade piling up an impressive 7-0-1 home record. The US have poured in 13 goals with no Mexican reply.
A strange phenomenon considering the fact that the El Tri have a number of high quality players with experience in the European leagues like Jared Borgetti, Pavel Pardo, Carlos Salcido, Ricardo Osorio, Rafael Marquez, and Nery Castillo. The Mexicans also have their next generation of starlets who are coming of age like Carlos Vela and Giovanni Dos Santos, part of the team that won the U-17 world title. Despite the impressive amount of talent, Mexico has underwhelmed against the US.
The US have been winning the Gold Cup matches through Landon Donovan who has a pretty good track record against Mexico, scoring three goals in his previous 8 matches. He will be looking to add more to his 33 scored with a chance of passing Eric Wynalda's record. The US are without the services of Frankie Hejduk and Michael Bradley, out through suspensions. This will deplete the defensive midfield as Hejduk and Bradley have been having a good tournament. Jonathan Spector will be asked to contain the dangerous Andres Guardado.
The Mexican attack up front has been led by Jared Borgetti and Cuauhtemoc Blanco although Nery Castillo will probably challenge for a start. Their attack has been ragged and they will run into Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra, not really built for speed, who have been having a bit of an up and down tournament so the Mexicans will try and exploit the center. As usual the Mexicans will control the ball with the US counterattacking through Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley faces a potential roadblock in experienced Ricardo Osorio and Carlos Salcido.
I think this match will finally see Mexico dust off their underwhelming performances and win by a goal through a defensive lapse on the part of the US. The Mexican defense will hold strong against the inevitable barrage of chances as the US throws everything into it including the kitchen sink.