CONCACAF Gold Cup: Power Ranking the 12 Teams

Andrew JordanSenior Writer IJune 16, 2011

CONCACAF Gold Cup: Power Ranking the 12 Teams

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 26:  Mexico celebrates 5-0 victory over the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship match at Giants Stadium on July 26, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Every two years, the CONCACAF Gold Cup is fought out between 12 different sides on American soil.

    In this year's tournament, the following 12 sides are competing for the highest honor in North American international football: Mexico, the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Cuba, Grenada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala.

    Now that the Gold Cup has kicked off, here is my ranking of all 12 teams in this tournament.

12: Cuba

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 05:  Cuban national team starting eleven prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica at Cowboys Stadium on June 5, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    Key Players: Roberto Linares, Odelín Molina and Jaime Colomé

    Known for having players defect whenever they visit the United States for either the Gold Cup or for World Cup qualifiers, Cuba has easily been the worst team so far in this Gold Cup.

    In their three matches, Cuba have conceded 16 goals and have played terrible football.

    It will be interesting to see how many players will not defect to the United States after Cuba is eliminated from this tournament after their match against El Salvador.

11: Grenada

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    CARSON, CA - JUNE 06:  of Jamaica against of Grenada during CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying match at The Home Depot Center on June 6, 2011 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Key Players: Craig Rocastle, Kithson Bain and Ricky Charles.

    Another side that has been extremely disappointing so far, Grenada have conceded 15 goals in this Gold Cup and have played some terrible football.

    This has only been the second international tournament that the Spice Boys have qualified for. The first one was the 2009 Gold Cup, where they finished last overall in their group.

10: Guadeloupe

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    TAMPA, FL - JUNE 11:  Jean-Luc Lambourde #13 of Team Guadeloupe is comforted by Franck Grandel #1 after receiving a red card against Team Canada during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Match at Raymond James Stadium on June 11, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J.
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Key Players: Ludovic Gotin, Franck Grandel and Stéphane Auvray.

    Even though they technically cannot win the Gold Cup because they are not recognized by FIFA, Guadeloupe did qualify for their third straight Gold Cup.

    Even though Guadeloupe have been eliminated by the United States, they lost all of their matches by one goal and were entertaining throughout.

9: Canada

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    TAMPA, FL - JUNE 11:  Dwayne De Rosario #14 of Team Canada celebrates a goal against Team Guadeloupe during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Match at Raymond James Stadium on June 11, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Key Players: Dwayne De Rosario, Atiba Hutchinson and Lars Hirschfeld

    After losing to the United States in their first match, Canada looked stronger against Guadeloupe and nearly advanced into the quarterfinals if it weren't for a late stoppage-time goal that denied the Canadians a chance to reach the quarterfinals.

    Canada will now look to Brazil 2014 and try to reach the hexagonal stage before attempting to make their second ever World Cup. 

8: Guatemala

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    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 10:  Manuel Leon #15 of Guatemala adavances the ball against Jamaica at FIU Stadium on June 10, 2011 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Key Players: Ricardo Jérez, Jr., Carlos Ruiz and José Manuel Contreras

    After a strong opening round, Guatemala have secured qualification into the quarterfinal following a 4-0 win to Grenada.

    This is the first time that Guatemala have advanced into the knockout stage since 2007.

7: El Salvador

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - JUNE 09:  Players make a wall in front of the goal during the game between Costa Rica and El Salvador during their game in the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Bank of America Stadium on June 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter L
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Key Players: Eliseo Quintanilla, Rodolfo Zelaya and Miguel Montes.

    El Salvador have reached the quarterfinals of this year's Gold Cup, the first time that they have done so since 2003.

    El Salvador's most impressive result came in their second match, where they nearly beat Costa Rica but ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a late goal.

    El Salvador will face Panama in the quarterfinals at RFK Stadium in Washington DC.

6: Honduras

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    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 10:  Jerry Bengstson #9 of Honduras celebrates a goal against Grenada with teammates at FIU Stadium on June 10, 2011 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Key Players: Noel Valladares, Wilson Palacios and Carlo Costly.

    After qualifying for last year's World Cup, the Honduras have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup after a solid group stage.

    Honduras will look to get past Costa Rica to face Mexico in the semifinal.

5: Costa Rica

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 05:  Bolanos Christian #7 celebrates a goal with Urena Marco #16 and Diaz Junior #15 of Costa against Cuba during the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying match at Cowboys Stadium on June 5, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Ge
    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    Key Players: Marco Ureña, Keylor Navas and Álvaro Saborío.

    Following a second place finish in the group stage, Costa Rica will now face Honduras in New Jersey in the quarterfinals.

    The only bad part of the group stage for Costa Rica came in the form of a 4-1 loss to Mexico.

4: Panama

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    KANSAS CITY, KS - JUNE 14:  Blas Perez #7 of Panama is swarmed by teammates after scoring during the GoldCup game against Canada on June 14, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Key Players: Jaime Penedo, Gabriel Gómez and Luis Tejada

    Remembered primarily for their 2-1 win over the United States in the group stage, Panama finished first overall in Group C and looked formidable throughout the group stage.

    Panama will face El Salvador in the quarterfinals, and if they win, they will face the winner of the United States and Jamaica in Houston.

3: Jamaica

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    HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 13:  Ryan Johnson #9 of Jamaica celebrates a goal against Honduras during the Concaf Gold Cup at Red Bull Arena on June 13, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Key Players: Demar Phillips, Ryan Johnson and Donovan Ricketts.

    An extremely young team, Jamaica have been the most surprising side in this Gold Cup, and they are a side that certainly can beat the United States in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

    With this current side playing the way it is, Jamaica certainly will be a side that will be a strong contender to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

2: United States

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 14:  Jozy Altidore #17 of the USA is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the first half of the GoldCup game against Guadeloupe on June 14, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Key Players: Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey

    The United States finished second in Group C and did not look convincing at all during the group stage, which included a loss to Panama.

    The US will look to rebound against Jamaica in the quarterfinals, but will need to improve tremendously if they are to do so.

1: Mexico

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - JUNE 09:  Hector Moreno #15 celebrates with teammate Javier Hernandez #13 of Mexico after a goal during their game in the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Bank of America Stadium on June 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Key Players: Javier Hernandez, Rafa Marquez and Giovanni dos Santos

    What can't we say about Mexico? They have been dominant to say the least, despite losing five members of their team due to positive drug tests during the tournament.

    Led by Chicharito Hernandez's five goals and some amazing attacking football, Mexico are the odds on favorite to win this Gold Cup and qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup.