United States v Mexico, Gold Cup Final, July 26, 2009
The United States will battle it out with Mexico for the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday night at the Giants Stadium, a repeat of the 2007 final which was settled by an amazing Benny Feilhaber volley.
The two-time defending champions, America, progressed to their third successive showpiece final with a 2-0 victory over Honduras as Clarence Goodson and Kenny Cooper got their names on the scoresheet. By contrast, the Mexicans had a slightly harder passage to the final after being taken to a penalty shootout before eventually seeing off Costa Rica in the other semi-final.
So far it has been a wonderful summer for American soccer. Fresh from a dazzling runner-up finish at the Confederations Cup in South Africa, the United States have all the momentum heading into the Gold Cup final. Since the turn of the new millennium the Stars and Stripes dominated their meetings with their close Mexican rivals managing to win 10 of their 14 meetings since the start of the noughties.
Mexico still hold the historical edge over their North American neighbours, with an overall record of 30 wins to the American’s 16 wins and 10 draws. But without doubt the the glory days are over for El Tri, as Bob Bradley’s charges become the big dog in the region.
Another interesting stat for you to consider.
Despite all the previous information, it is also true that the United States have still never won or drawn in Mexico. And, in almost perfect symmetry, Mexico have not managed a win in the States for ten long years, being a stretch of eleven games running all the way back to 1999.
Hoping to buck the trend of yet another home win, Mexican coach Javier Aguirre is able to call upon an exciting array of young talent who appear to have gelled into a nucleus that can carry the Mexicans forward in the years to come. In particular Tottenham’s Gio dos Santos and Arsenal’s Carlos Vela have the opportunity to cement their names in lights in the final, while goal-threats are also posed by the tournament’s top-scorer Miguel Sabah, Memo Ochoa and veteran captain Gerardo Torrado.
The key men in the American line-up will be high-rated midfielder Stuart Holden, captain and old-boy Brian Ching, forwards Davy Arnaud and Kenny Cooper, and the impressive Kyle Beckerman.
101predicts: United States 2 - Mexico 1 (15/2)
Full match odds here.