A diverse selection of teams have made their way into the semi-finals of this year's Gold Cup, and Wednesday sees title-holders the United States take on Jamaica in the final four, while Panama prepare to face Mexico.
Jurgen Klinsmann's reigning champions were the only side that managed to score more than once in the quarter-finals as they demolished Cuba 6-0, while the other semi-finalists each edged through by fine margins.
Along with the Stars and Stripes, Mexico are the only other remaining outfit to have tasted Gold Cup glory, winning the tournament a record six times, while Jamaica and Panama are seeking their maiden triumphs.
Wednesday's highly anticipated encounters will determine whether we see a lineup of former champions in the final, with all the vital viewing information included ahead along with semi-final preview and predictions.
|Wednesday's Gold Cup Semi-Final Schedule|
|Time||Fixture Prediction||TV Info||Live Stream|
|11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ET||United States 2-1 Jamaica AET||BT Sport 1 (UK), Fox Sports 1 (US)||BT Sport stream (UK), Fox Soccer 2GO (US)|
|2 a.m. BST (Thurs., July 23)/9 p.m. ET||Panama 0-1 Mexico AET||BT Sport 1 (UK), Fox Sports 2 (US)||BT Sport stream (UK), Fox Soccer 2GO (US)|
United States vs. Jamaica
A 6-0 battering of Cuba was the ideal way for the Stars and Stripes to stamp their authority on a Gold Cup title defence, having scored just four goals in three group-stage matchups.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Klinsmann's side are considerable favourites to retain their trophy this year, which would result in automatic qualification for the 2017 Confederations Cup:
The team take on Jamaica on Wednesday hoping that their strikers can build on their last victory as a foundation for future success in front of goal, with Clint Dempsey having scored three of their four group-stage goals.
Aron Johansson found the back on the net against Cuba to mark his first score of the competition, and the AZ Alkmaar forward told USSoccer.com (via Goal's Sacha Pisani) of his growing confidence:
"For a striker to get his first goal of the tournament, it's huge. Obviously I would have hoped it would come sooner, but to score in the knockout stage is always good."
A sixth-minute goal from Giles Barnes was enough to see Jamaica through to a 1-0 victory over Haiti in their quarter-final fixture, but a staunch United States defence will be tougher to break down.
That being said, ex-United States attacker Santino Quaranta told Bleacher Report Radio he feels the Reggae Boyz won't provide an easy task themselves:
Jamaica haven't conceded a goal since drawing 2-2 against Costa Rica in their opening match of the Gold Cup, clinching three successive 1-0 wins since then.
Cuba's lacklustre defence may have put the USMNT in good spirits, but Winfried Schafer's men won't give up goals so easily, leaving the U.S. to fight for a scrappier outcome this time around.
Prediction: United States 2-1 Jamaica AET
Panama vs. Mexico
It was touch-and-go for a moment, but pre-tournament favourites Mexico booked their place in the 2015 Gold Cup semi-finals thanks to an extra-time win over Costa Rica on Sunday.
Andres Guardado's last-gasp penalty salvaged the victory, but two-time runners-up Panama are looking dangerous after ousting Trinidad and Tobago from the contest via penalty shootout.
Having finished second in Group C, El Tri haven't quite hit the heights expected of them so far in the tournament, leaving coach Miguel Herrera seeking major improvements if they're to emerge as champions.
Per Dejan Kalinic of Goal, the Mexico manager was unhappy with his side despite their quarter-final win, proclaiming that his team has been treated unfairly throughout the contest:
What surprises me is that Mexico is the one that gets them [Concacaf money], which makes the stadiums full. The whole process has treated us different from the other teams. We've paid a lot.
Irrespective of Herrera's grievances, El Tri have managed to clinch results and keep three clean sheets out of four thus far, although a 4-4 draw against Trinidad and Tobago disrupts those statistics somewhat.
South American football writer Juan Arango feels Mexico will ultimately win the competition and extend their record to seven Gold Cup wins, hinting that victory may come through suspicious means:
Panama are massive underdogs after finishing third in Group A, but Hernan Dario Gomez has banded together a cohesive unit of dark horses who look ready to take their chance.
That being said, the experience among Mexico's lineup and the pedigree they possess when it comes to winning drawn-out fixtures should bode well for them in the latter stages of what could be an exhausting tie.
Prediction: Panama 0-1 Mexico AET