Gold Cup evaluation: U.S. win, Mexico woe and different event takeaways

Football

The Gold Cup is full, and after a topsy-turvy, 120-minute battle in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. workforce walked away deserving winners over rivals Mexico and made it two trophies out of two makes an attempt over their neighbors this summer season, having gained the CONCACAF Nations League initially of June.

– Carlisle: USMNT’s Gold Cup will resonate for a very long time
– Report: U.S. beat Mexico, win Gold Cup in additional time
– CONCACAF Gold Cup bracket and outcomes

With the trophy gained, the confetti swept away and the gamers slowly heading again to rejoin their membership groups across the globe, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, Eric Gomez and Kyle Bonagura mirror on the event’s highs and lows, in addition to questioning if it is not only a competitors for U.S. and Mexico to dominate.

Bounce to: Greatest takeaway | Anybody difficult USA, Mexico? | Greatest shock or disappointment | Standout gamers


Greatest takeaway from the competitors?

The U.S. ran out worthy winners on the Gold Cup and higher than the trophy itself was the rise of a number of gamers who’ve proven they belong in World Cup qualifying, which begins in September. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

Jeff Carlisle: The U.S. participant pool is deeper than initially thought. Heading into the event, there have been quite a lot of query marks about sure positions and whereas a couple of nonetheless linger — particularly who’s going to assert the beginning striker spot — extra questions had been answered. Miles Robinson seems like a participant who is usually a actual contributor at center-back. Kellyn Acosta is a stable backup for Tyler Adams in defensive midfield and given Adams’ issue with accidents, may very nicely be referred to as upon to play. Goalkeeper Matt Turner can provide Zack Steffen and Ethan Horvath a run for his or her cash between the posts, too.

Berhalter additionally has the posh of figuring out gamers who can excel in “supersub” roles, be it a midfielder like Cristian Roldan or an outside-back like Shaq Moore. All of it offers Berhalter one thing of a range puzzle on the subject of naming a roster for World Cup qualifying, which begins in September, however he has many extra choices than he had earlier than and that could be a constructive growth.

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Eric Gomez: Within the coming weeks and months, the generational shift will emerge as an enormous speaking level for each the United States and Mexico.

A number of of Gregg Berhalter’s younger champions, like Matthew Hoppe, Robinson and Turner have doubtless performed themselves into the USMNT World Cup qualifying rotation after their stellar performances. On the opposite facet, Mexico followers can solely look on wistfully in the direction of the under-23 workforce enjoying so nicely in Tokyo. They may rightfully surprise what their fortunes would have been like if the Olympic facet had suited up as an alternative of the groggy, getting older group we noticed all through the Gold Cup.

Transferring ahead, it appears an increasing number of like this summer season served each groups as an extended audition for qualifiers. America will experience including in gamers to their established mixture of younger stars, whereas Mexico will scramble to swap out items of an getting older core.

Kyle Bonagura: From an American standpoint, the entire level of the roster building was to establish gamers who may play roles throughout World Cup qualification and never solely did goalkeeper Turner showcase he is gifted sufficient to be relied on, he made a robust case to be the No. 1 as nicely. Different gamers improved their inventory, too, however due to the character of the place — just one man performs — it was Turner’s efficiency that would have essentially the most affect on a first-choice beginning XI.

Steffen has been considered because the locked-in starter for some time now, however after Horvath got here up clutch within the Nations League closing and Turner’s run via the Gold Cup — the New England Revolution stopper did not enable a single aim from the run of play in six matches — Steffen’s standing ought to not be a given. Particularly contemplating that when qualifying begins in September, Steffen will doubtless nonetheless be in a backup position at Manchester Metropolis, whereas Turner (and presumably Horvath) could have been getting constant enjoying time.

Is anybody going to problem the USA and Mexico transferring ahead?

Canada have proven they’re actually a 3rd pressure on the continent; one wonders if they might have reached the ultimate with a full-strength squad. Omar Vega/Getty Photographs

Carlisle: Canada seems to be the workforce best-positioned to threaten the U.S./Mexico hegemony. The Reds had already made some noise within the CONCACAF Nations League once they defeated the U.S. at residence. Then, they arrived on the Gold Cup with out two of their finest gamers (Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David) earlier than being depleted additional when ahead Ayo Akinola went down with a torn ACL. And but Canada pushed each Mexico and the U.S. to the restrict, dropping each matches by a single aim.

Tajon Buchanan was already trying like an immense expertise on the membership degree with the New England Revolution. Now he is displaying the identical at worldwide degree. Stephen Eustaquio impressed, too. When Canada will get its full workforce collectively, it may show formidable certainly.

Dan Thomas is joined by Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop and others to deliver you the most recent highlights and debate the largest storylines. Stream on ESPN+ (U.S. solely).

Gomez: Canada is already there. As was the case with Mexico and the USMNT, Canada was with out a number of of their largest stars for the Gold Cup. Nevertheless, they confirmed they’re deeper than ever and boast an electrical group of younger expertise — Buchanan was a revelation, rightfully profitable the event’s Finest Younger Participant award — who will problem to make their first World Cup since 1986.

In the meantime, Central America can also be experiencing a altering of the guard, yielding an fascinating preview of what is to come back in World Cup qualifiying. Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras have misplaced fairly a little bit of steam, whereas El Salvador was a welcome shock beneath supervisor Hugo Perez. Past the three North American international locations, La Selecta will problem Jamaica for the playoff spot and make life tough for each opponent alongside the best way.

Bonagura: Even with out its two finest gamers, Canada superior to the semifinal, the place it had its probabilities to beat Mexico earlier than dropping on the demise. So, the quick reply is: Sure. Canada is on the rise and shall be a troublesome opponent for the US and Mexico for years to come back. Canada hasn’t certified for the World Cup since 1986, in Mexico, and the expectation this cycle ought to be for that to alter.

There’s a number of progress to be made however this era of Canadian gamers has the potential to alter how Canadian soccer is considered in CONCACAF and past.

Greatest shock or largest disappointment of the competitors?

Mexico’s event led to disappointment and has added quite a lot of stress to Martino & Co. heading into World Cup qualification. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

Carlisle: El Salvador is one other workforce that appears like it’s transferring in the precise course. Supervisor Perez — a former U.S. worldwide, thoughts you — not solely has Los Cuscatlecos extra organized, however taking extra dangers as nicely, and to good impact. El Salvador was one other workforce that offered a tough take a look at to not solely Mexico, but in addition reigning Asian champions, Qatar. El Salvador will not be a pushover by any means when the Octagonal begins in September.

When it comes to disappointment, whereas Costa Rica claimed prime spot of their group with three wins, it seems like a workforce caught between generations, and had been soundly crushed by Canada within the quarterfinals. How lengthy can gamers like Celso Borges and Bryan Ruiz carry the load? The beginning of World Cup qualifying ought to give us a solution.

Gomez: Tata Martino. After dropping the Nations League closing to the US in June, Mexico’s supervisor discovered himself caught between a rock and a tough place. Figuring out his participant pool can be diminished because the under-23 workforce performed the Olympics, Martino felt stress for the primary time in his stint as El Tri supervisor.

Whereas the US opted to relaxation all of their important abilities, Martino felt he wanted to deliver as sturdy a workforce as he may to the Gold Cup to make up for his earlier loss and danger additional fatigue. The end result was predictable. The Gold Cup is already as close to to a zero-sum competitors as there may be for Mexico, and after Hirving Lozano went down with harm throughout the event’s opening recreation, much more stress was mounted on the Argentine coach to ship a trophy, which finally by no means got here.

Bonagura: Costa Rica might need gone 3-0 to win its group, however at no level throughout the event did it appear to be a workforce able to making a threatening run within the knockout levels. The two-0 loss to Canada within the quarterfinals was not an upset by any stretch.

A part of Costa Rica’s uninspiring displaying can most likely be chalked as much as introducing a brand new coach with none time to organize, nevertheless it’s laborious to take a look at the getting older roster and give you many good causes to anticipate issues to enhance considerably in qualifying. This can be a nation that reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2014 and is however a shadow of what it as soon as was.

Participant who impressed you essentially the most?

Miles Robinson confirmed his expertise with some elegant shows on the Gold Cup. Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Photographs

Carlisle: Miles Robinson. The U.S. center-back ought to have been named the participant of the event. (That honor went to Mexico’s Hector Herrera as an alternative.) Not that it issues that a lot to him as he’ll gladly accept being a part of the Gold Cup championship workforce, however Robinson was dominant in each recreation, placing out fixed fires and delivering composure on the ball.

Within the closing, Robinson even confirmed off his skill to hold the ball ahead into the assault. And he was central to a U.S. protection that conceded however one aim — a penalty kick, at that — all the event.

Will it’s sufficient to interrupt into the U.S. beginning lineup? There’s an open slot alongside John Brooks, and Robinson’s mobility may make him a super alternative for the injured Aaron Lengthy. There’s competitors as nicely, although, and Mark McKenzie and Matt Miazga will not hand over with no combat, however Robinson’s emergence was essentially the most constructive growth for the U.S. within the Gold Cup.

Gomez: Whereas Canada’s Buchanan was spectacular all through the Gold Cup, Qatar’s Almoez Ali continued his prolific run together with his nationwide workforce, elevating many eyebrows alongside the best way.

The 24-year-old striker gained the competitors’s Golden Boot award and displayed a mixture of velocity and ability that enthralled observers and rankled defenders all through. Ali walks away as the one participant to win the highest scorer award at each the Asian Cup and CONCACAF’s premier nationwide workforce competitors.

Lastly, it might be a obvious omission to not speak about Turner’s superb goalkeeping all through the Individuals’ title run. Particularly within the knockout levels, the New England Revolution man seemed unbeatable. He’ll undoubtedly stay on the prime of Berhalter’s checklist for any recreation the place Manchester Metropolis’s Steffen is unavailable.

Bonagura: Setting Turner apart, I believe there are two gamers who actually performed their approach into the US’ World Cup qualifying dialog: Matthew Hoppe and Robinson. Robinson was deserving of Participant of the Event honors by being the man we see frequently in MLS and Berhalter doubtless comes away from the final month with confidence he can slot him subsequent to Brooks.

With that understood, I discovered myself extra impressed by Hoppe. Not as a result of he was extra impactful than Robinson, however as a result of we obtained to see a model of him that did not get to frequently emerge at Schalke. Whereas breaking via as a 19-year-old within the Bundesliga was spectacular, it was robust to get an excellent learn on how he may doubtlessly match into the USMNT as a result of Schalke was actually horrific. Their fundamental lack of ability to progress the ball with any regularity rendered him out of date as a rule.

Within the Gold Cup, Hoppe’s confidence and willingness to take folks on stood out, and he is earned a spot this fall.

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