There’s another FIFA soccer tournament that will be coinciding with the Women’s World Cup. The 2019 CONCACAF Gold CUP is set to begin on June 15th, 2019. This competition is held every two years. The USMNT are the defending champion after winning the 2017 championship with a 2-1 victory of Jamaica. This year’s tournament comes at a good time as new head coach Gregg Berhalter continues his quest of finding the right players (young and old) for his system. The ultimate goal is qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and redeeming the nation’s embarrassing failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. So let’s dive into some details for the USMNT and their quest to repeat as the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup champions.
USA vs Guyana – June 18th at 10pm EST at Allainz Field. TV – FS1
USA vs Trinidad and Tobago – June 22nd at 730pm EST at First Energy Stadium. TV – FS1
USA vs Panama – June 26th at 9pm EST at Children’s Mercy Park. TV – FS1
Who Will Be In The USMNT Lineup
This has been an everlasting mystery across multiple USMNT head coaches. Klinsmann went with a European based players dominant lineup. He pretty much shunned the MLS and gave the MLS based USMNT players a real disadvantage. Enter Bruce Arena who goes the completely opposite direction of Klinsmann and favored the MLS based USMNT players (We saw how that worked out). Now we wait and see what approach Gregg Berhalter will take with the USMNT lineup.
At the start of Berhalter’s direction, we’ve seen him bring in a mix of youth, veterans, MLS and European based players. I think this is the initial correct approach. Mixing the USMNT lineup of the future with the current and veterans can only create good chemistry. Most wonder why in the world we would still be seeing Michael Bradley in the starting lineup. There’s not a chance he’ll be on the 2022 World Cup roster at the age of 34, right? Anyways, Bradley has been a leader for years in the USMNT lineup. He’s had ups and downs, but I for one can see the value in having his experience and leadership involved in today’s younger group.
We will see what the final 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster looks like soon. My thoughts are we will see a solid mix of European based players (Pulisic, Brooks), MLS based players, including a good mix of youth and veterans.
Preparation Matches – Who I Want to See
On June 5th at 730pm EST, the USMNT will have a friendly match vs Jamaica. The match will be played at Audi Field and televised on FS1. This will be our first chance to see some roster unknowns going into the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. In particular, I am interested in seeing some young forwards. Josh Sargent is a younger player that is screaming goal scorer. He’s on the verge of breaking into the lineup at Werder Bremen. The USMNT lineup is starving for a natural goal scorer. Pairing him with someone with the skill set of Christian Pulisic makes me tingle inside.
The last preparation match is scheduled for June 9th at 2pm vs Venezuela at Nippert Stadium. This match will be televised on Fox. A much more formidable opponent than Jamaica. I would expect to see the planned USMNT lineup start this match. I guess, they could decide to give some players additional rest and not risk injury, but I think these players needs to play together as much as possible.
My Group Stage Predictions
USA 3 Guyana 0 – I just don’t see Guyana giving the USMNT any issues. They should control possession and get a plethora of chances. Now what they do with those chances is always the question.
USA 2 Trinidad and Tobago 0 – Revenge match here. The USMNT won’t be playing on a small cow pasture like field (not an excuse). They’re the better side and it will show. On a side note, I’ll be in attendance of this match. I’ll plan a post about my experience
USA 1 Panama 1 – The US again should be the better side. This will be their most difficult match on the group stage. If the previous match results go as planned, the group might already be determined and we could see a less urgent USMNT.
What Will The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Show Us?
This will be Gregg Berhalter’s first FIFA sponsored competition as head coach of the USMNT. We should start to see how his tactics and style of play will play out. In addition, how the new man in charge will breakdown the USMNT Lineup. The ultimate goal is getting to Qatar in 2022 and these competitions are key in regard to the preparation.