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3 Things To Look For At This Year’s Gold Cup

With the 2011 Gold Cup less than a week away, there are a lot of interesting scenarios for the US national team going into the tournament. In what basically is a must-win tournament for Bob Bradley’s side, the pressure is on the team to win back the cup and qualify for the Confederations Cup in 2013.

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1. If the USA falls short again, will coach Bob Bradley be on the hot seat?


The US Soccer Federation’s decision to bring back Bob Bradley for another four years, was one that was criticized by many US fans and supporters. After having talks with former German national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann after last years World Cup, Sunil Gulati decided to bring back Bob Bradley after a somewhat successful World Cup in South Africa. It’s been said that Klinsmann wanted too much control of the national team, and that the USSF wasn’t willing to give him all of that power. It’s up to Bob Bradley to show he was the right choice for another 4 year cycle, or else it could have the USSF second-guessing themselves.

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2. The tournament could have a lot of implications for players.


A player such as Michael Bradley, who got virtually no time in his loan stint at Aston Villa, could benefit from the tournament. A good showing during the Gold Cup could have the Aston Villa staff re-thinking their plans for the US midfielder, and eventually sign him. Clint Dempsey for instance, who had a career season for Fulham, and who has already been linked with a move to PSG in France, could further boost his stock as one of the more solid midfielders in Europe. And a guy like Freddy Adu, who people practically forgot about these past couple of years, could emerge back into the spotlight and become a regular for the US national team.


3. If Mexico wins again, we’ll have to hear about it for another 2 years.

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Every time I watch a US soccer clip on Youtube, I tend to read the comments and see people fussing about which country is better, US or Mexico. Granted, both teams are the two best teams in CONCACAF, and Mexico might even have a slightly stronger side this time around. But Mexico did win the last Gold Cup, and that’s what fans have been basing their arguments on since 2009. And with Javier Hernandez emerging as a star for Manchester United this season, it gives even more momentum to the Mexican argument to state why their team is truly the best. I would love to see a US vs. Mexico final once again, with both teams starting their strongest sides to see who reigns supreme over CONCACAF.

 

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