What kind of tournament is CONCACAF and who participates there?
You ask, and we will answer you immediately. This is the same Euro, only without mind-blowing calculations in the spirit of “under what circumstances the national team of this or that country will come out,” and it is held in North America. On all continents, CONCACAF Gold Cup is probably the last but one place (worse only in Oceania, much worse). Although the intensity of passions, he can move forward to the 3rd place, leaving behind him sometimes incomprehensible tournaments in Africa and Asia. Fortunately, with any interesting events, it does not pass: so why not to see it?
Let’s talk about the participants, which are the countries of North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. There are only 12 of them in the tournament, and as you could guess there are 3 groups of 4 teams. Playoffs start from 1/4 (like Euro in half). Mastodons of the continent (USA, Mexico and Canada) automatically enter the tournament. The remaining 9 places are filled by the results of two qualifications and one butt match. In addition to North Americans, there are also Central Americans (Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica), where the last team is very good, I think they remember the last World Championships and countries from the Caribbean (Curaçao, Jamaica, French Guiana and Martinique). By the way, the last 2 national teams are not members of FIFA at all, but are members of CONCACAF (North American UEFA), therefore they participate. Of course, many people come to mind with associations with liquor, headgear, sprinters and other things, but let’s still think of them as football teams, because they won the tournament for this. As for the favorites, this is, of course, the United States and Mexico, even though they do not usually bring the optimal compositions. The first reason is that the players from European clubs, they will not be disturbed. Another favorite is probably Costa Rica (indeed, these guys can always shoot). To dark horses include Honduras and Canada.
CONCACAF Champions League: USA team
Along with Mexico, the current winners are the main favorites of the tournament. Plus, in the sleeve of Jurgen Klinsmann, the support of many thousands of army fans in each of the matches and a phenomenal series without defeats in matches against the Mexicans – over the past 4 years with the German specialist, the US has never lost to the Aztec (three wins, three draws). In addition, the Americans always perform fully armed, as they manage to approach the tournament without losing the key players. The composition of the team is perfectly balanced and is a fusion of ambitious youth and great experience. The US team has great chances.
At the 2013 CONCACAF Cup, the Panamanians beat and overtook Mexico in the group, defeated Cuba 6: 1 in 1/4, again sensationally beat the Mexicans already in the semifinals (2: 1) and lost the USA with a minimum score of 0: 1. After such a campaign, this team may even make sense to rank as one of the favorites, at least on a pedestal. Now Panama has another coach, Hernan Dario Gomez, who has extensive experience in working with teams (including Colombia and Ecuador). Since 2013, the team has retained most of the leaders, some of whom have successfully performed in the MLS. For example, the wonderful goalkeeper of “Galaxy” Jaime Penedo, the most experienced scored from “Dallas” Blas Perez or an interesting forward from the “Colorado” Gabriel Torres.
It is the main underdog of the group if not of the entire tournament. It is not necessary to wait for any accomplishments from this team. However, to leave the group in the playoffs from third place, three points may be enough. That is why one stray victory for Haiti can turn into one of the main discoveries of the tournament. By the way, the Haitians also have an interesting head coach. First, Mark Colla, perhaps the first football specialist (or even a man) from Martinique, whom you have ever heard of. Secondly, very, very long time ago he worked with the youth team of France, in which Zinedine Zidane played.
One of the worst teams has changed noticeably. The main change was the appointment of the team coach Jorge Luis Pinto – the very man whose team played anti-football last summer and blew brains to the entire world football community. Yes, yes, this is the same coach of Costa Rica, who reached the quarterfinals of Mundial in Brazil. It turns out that the defensive football of Costa Ricans from Pinto is so not in demand these days that the coach of the World Championships opening team for the year sends not to the European top club but to Honduras. In addition to jokes, with the advent of Pinto at the helm of the team, the line-up was noticeably updated. The current generation of Honduras is not very happy with talents, as, for example, 10 years ago, but in this team it will look at anyone. And with the game philosophy, Pinto Honduras may well create several surprises.
Costa Rica team
You may hardly know Costa Rica, as the team will come to the tournament completely different compared to last year’s World Championship. Instead of the main creator of victories Jorge Luis Pinto at the helm of the team is now the legendary in the recent past, the forward of the national team of Costa Rica Paulo Vanchope. The 38-year-old has already managed to train in the domestic championship two not the most recent clubs and with accumulated knowledge, with full confidence and love from the fans, he took on the main team of the country.
Canadians almost always play at home, and the third group stage match in 2015 actually took place in their native Toronto. The team from the middle of 2013 is headed by experienced Spanish specialist Benito Flores, who at the beginning of the 90s even headed Real Madrid. From this Canada you can expect both a sensational success and a deafening failure. Flores has a team with a large number of gifted and promising guys, as well as several veterans of the national team. The Spaniard is trying to inculcate in the team a combination football and teach how to play high pressure. However, if in friendly matches with not the most ambitious rivals in their way it worked, in the CONCACAF Cup the main rivals are of a completely different level.