Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gold Cup Semifinals Preview and Predictions

And then there were four. It has come down to the regular couple, an upstart and an 'out-of nowhere' side to decide our confederation's championship. Will tonight end with the expected advancing or will a new path be paved?

Canada vs. USA
7pm ET/4pm PT - Chicago, Ill.
TV: Fox Soccer Channel, TeleFutura

Oh Canada, can you stop the mighty US? The Maple Leafs looked strong against Guatemala on Saturday because they know how to open up space and no one seems afraid of taking a shot. For the US to counter this wind from the North they will need to first and foremost shutdown Julian De Guzman. He is their control man in the middle who plays a huge role in their attacks. If he is given time, he will find Dewayne De Rosario and Ali Gerba and then it will all come down to the Nats backline.

One big weakness on the Canadian side is their poor first touches. If the US acts fast and play close, they should be able to poke more then a few of them away, stopping any pressure before it has a chance to become dangerous.

Against Panama, the USA was able to do a great job of maintaining possession of the ball and they will need to do the same tonight, however it will really come down to finishing. The number of chances Panama gave the US to put the game away was ridiculous. Canada will not be so generous. Donovan, Dempsey and whoever else will need to get it on frame.

Canada is a much-improved squad, but the US is still stronger at every position, so it is their game to loose. On a side note, I wonder if the team comes out flat again at the start of the second half. It seems that the first 10-minutes of the second half were some of the best under Arena but have been some of the worst under Bradley.

Predicted lineup:
GK: Howard
D: Simek, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Bornstein
M: Bradley, Mastroeni, Beasley, Donovan
F: Dempsey, Johnson

Predictions: Me Canada 1-3 USA, Wife Canada 0-2 USA

Guadalupe vs. Mexico
10pm ET/ 7pm PT - Chicago, Ill
TV: Univision

The Mexican fans were cheering for Guadalupe on Sunday against Honduras but that joy might just come back and bite them tonight. Mexico played poorly against a 10-man Costa Rica side for over 45-minutes, but was able to get a goal in overtime to move on. The odd thing was even when two additional players were sent off for Costa Rica, Mexico could not dominate. The reason, they are slow up top, a muddle in the middle and weak on defense. All of these things allow opponents to sneak in and get some great chances, it just takes a little patience and if there is something Guadalupe has in large amount, it is patience.

Don't get me wrong, El Tri has enough talent to win this match and are nowhere near being underdogs, but they have been weak the whole Gold Cup and a Cinderella team might be all that is needed to knock them out.
Predictions: Me Guadalupe 1-2 Mexico, Wife Guadalupe 0-1 Mexico

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Blogger francisco manuel said...

Hi Mr. Mike

Will you analize or comment the Copa America ?

Thank you

Best wishes

8:53 PM  

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