MIAMI, Florida – On Monday, September 28, Concacaf will conduct the Draw for the 2021 Gold Cup in which 16 teams will look to win Concacaf’s most prestigious national team tournament, including reigning Gold Cup champions Mexico.
Here is a breakdown of the teams in Pot 1.
Mexico – The reigning Gold Cup champions will seek to defend their crown and vie for their ninth title overall. As one of only two nations to have appeared in every edition of the Gold Cup, Mexico are always loaded with some of the best talent in the region and the 2021 edition should be no different. 2019 Gold Cup Golden Ball winner Raul Jimenez and 2019 Gold Cup Golden Glove winner Guillermo Ochoa are expected to be back in the fold for Head Coach Gerardo Martino, while MF and Captain Andres Guardado could become the all-time leading Gold Cup goalscorer in Mexican National Team history if he finds the back of the net just once for El Tricolor. From back to front, Mexico are talented and deep and will once again be a contender to lift the trophy.
United States – A new generation of U.S. player is making waves, with FW Christian Pulisic starring at English Premier League side Chelsea and MF Weston McKennie recently joining Italian giants Juventus. Those are just two players leading the charge on a young and hungry U.S. team that is on a quest for their seventh Gold Cup title. Head Coach Gregg Berhalter guided the U.S. to the 2019 Final where they were edged by Mexico, 1-0, in a sold-out thriller at Soldier Field in Chicago. The U.S. would like nothing more than to return the favor against their archrivals in the 2021 edition.
Costa Rica – The Ticos will feel plenty motivated to make the 2021 Gold Cup one to remember. It has been since 2002 that Costa Rica last reached a Gold Cup Final and in 15 previous appearances the Central American team is yet to reach the Gold Cup mountain top. Nevertheless, Costa Rica always boast some of the best players in the tournament, including GK Keylor Navas. After a near-miss against Mexico in the 2019 quarterfinals when they were eliminated in a penalty shootout, Costa Rica will be eager to prove once and for all that they have the mettle to be Gold Cup champions.
Honduras – While the 2019 Gold Cup ended with an exit after the group stage for Honduras, there is plenty of optimism in the Catracho side that 2021 can be a different story. Under the guidance of Head Coach Fabian Coito, Honduras won their group in League A of the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League and are poised to make a run at their first Gold Cup Final since the inaugural edition in 1991. With 15 previous Gold Cup appearances under their belts, Honduras know what it takes to win in a Gold Cup and a new generation of players is looking to make Honduran football history.