For the third consecutive tournament, the United States and Mexico will square off in the Gold Cup final, with a berth in the 2013 Confederations Cup on the line. The teams split their previous two meetings; the U.S. taking the 2007 tourney courtesy of a stunning Benny Feilhaber goal, while Mexico returned the favor with a 5-0 rout in 2009.
I'm not surprised that these two teams are meeting in the final again, as they are the flag bearers in the CONCACAF region. It's almost pre-destined, that besides the occasional friendly and the mandatory World Cup qualifier matches, "U.S. vs Mexico" finale is pretty much a lock in the Gold Cup. This is not a knock to countries like Panama, Honduras and even Costa Rica - who are solid, but seem to settle for the "second-tier" slot - but we know how these things play out.
Mexico seems to be doing just fine without their 5 suspended starters, including goalie Guillermo Ochoa. They've breezed through just about anyone and everyone in front of them. The U.S stumbled on their way to the final, losing 2-1 to Panama, followed by an unimpressive 1-0 over Guadeloupe. Still, they won and that is all that matters.
While Mexico appears to be the better team, their track record on American soil has been far from impressive; only 1 win in 12 years!! I'll give the U.S. the edge in this matchup just because they're playing at "home"; the game is in Pasadena, but we know the crowd will be pro-Mexican anyway. However, the U.S. seems to get the better of Mexico in situations like this. Like I had mentioned earlier, the winner books a place in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, so the stakes are just a little higher tonight.
Enjoy the game.