Gold Cup Scouting: Group B (That's Ours)

I've already chucked my two (lead) pennies into the Gold Cup debate. But, when I did so, I think I was sufficiently upfront about working off old information.

Fortunately for all us eager beavers, Soccer America got some good, recent dish for their 2007 Gold Cup Group B scouting report, notably: "[Guatemala remains] the only major Central American soccer nation to have never reached the World Cup finals, and their national team coach says that won't change any time soon"; "...all national teams except [Trinidad & Tobago's (T & T)] under-17 have been suspended in dispute between the T&T government and Trinidad federation over funding"; "Salvadoran soccer has been on the decline for years."

Doo-de-doo-doo-doo, feelin' groovy...

But my favorite Gold Cup item of the day appeared in Los Angeles Soccer News (LINK), where an unknown correspondent wrote the following:

"If the U.S. and Mexico win their respective groups, the two sides will meet in the final in Chicago on June 24, should the two sides progress through the knockout rounds."

Yeah, I know they were trying to tell their readers about the likely moment for a(nother) U.S. v. Mexico grudge-match, but the phrasing is priceless. Still, it gave me an idea: what say we assume the Mexicans will win Group C and counter by doing our damnedest to place third in Group B, but to be better than the third-place team in Group A (we may also need to top the third-place team in Group C...I'm not saying this plan isn't without its risks, dammit!). This way we can get the Mexicans early, before they're warmed up. Got it? Good.

The point is, unless I'm reading the brackets wrong, the odds of the U.S. and Mexico facing off anywhere but the final are pretty dang low. Anyway, I'm just pitching the folks at LA Soccer poop; they'd find plenty of gaffes, and worse ones, in my copy.


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