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Ranking the Gold Cup quarterfinalists; New front-runner?

Bruce Arena, Michael Bradley

U.S. men’s national soccer team coach Bruce Arena, left, talks to captain Michael Bradley during a practice session Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Carson, Calif. Coach Arena opens camp with the team in the same training complex where he spent the past eight years running the LA Galaxy. Arena returned to the U.S. team in November to salvage its run for World Cup qualification. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

AP

No pats on the back for correctly selecting the Gold Cup quarterfinal field -- well, maybe a little pat... it was almost to a T, after all -- as PST correctly tabbed the absurd 8 of 12 nations to move onto the knockout rounds.

But the United States men’s national team threw the proverbial spanner in the works when it comes to our knockout round predictions by calling up CONCACAF killer Jozy Altidore as well as Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Darlington Nagbe, and Jesse Gonzalez.

Canada improved as well, while Mexico decided to make no changes to its squad. That means you should make no mistake about it: The Yanks’ status as stuttering group stage side just turned into tournament favorites.

[ MORE: USMNT stock up, stock down ]

Canada’s draw with Costa Rica stopped our predictions from being spot-on -- joking aside, it’s pretty easy to select the field -- but would we make any other changes given the group stage? Let’s see.

8. El Salvador -- A scrappy bunch that could’ve given the U.S. B-Team a hassle, it won’t be able to handle Altidore, Dempsey, and Bradley.

7. Honduras -- Didn’t score a single goal aside from their awarded 3-0 win over French Guiana.

6. Canada -- This is where the difference in win probability between sides gets razor-thin; Inexperience has us pegging the Canucks just behind their quarterfinal foes.

5. Jamaica -- On the flip side of Canada, running to the 2015 Gold Cup final while knocking off the USMNT will have the Reggae Boyz feeling okay.

4. Panama -- Allowed just two goals in the knockout rounds, including a relatively dominant performance against the U.S., and was the only team to shutout Kevin Parsemain and Martinique.

3. Costa Rica -- Tabbed before the tournament as a possible first time winner, allowed just a single goal to Canadian phenom Alphonso Davies.

2. Mexico -- El Tri is El Tri, even as a B Team, and will like avoiding Costa Rica and the U.S. until the final.


  1. USMNT -- Should be able to clinch the first of two lottery chances at being CONCACAF’s representative in the 2021 Confederations Cup.

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