After a sluggish start to the Gold Gup, the United States has found its way the Final to face main rival Mexico on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena.
The site of many great soccer events, this will not be much of a home field advantage for the Yanks. Southern California has a very large Mexican population, and the U.S. would be lucky if one-third of the stadium is supporting the red, white, and blue.
Mexico has had a better tournament than the Americans. While the U.S. has struggled against weak teams, El Tri has dominated them.
But previous matches may not mean much on Saturday night. The U.S. has steadily improved from their poor showings against Panama and Guadeloupe, and Mexico is coming off a lackluster overtime victory over lowly Honduras in the semi-finals.
Also, El Tri lost five of their players after testing positive for drugs, including their starting goalkeeper.
The U.S. is stronger at goalkeeper and at midfield, but Mexico has the better defense and forwards.
This rivalry has been very intense over the years, and there will be no shortage of motivation to win for either team.
Tonight's match will be very even, as both squads desperately want to win, and are very familiar with the other's style of play.
D: Lichaj, Goodson, Bocanegra, Cherundolo
M: Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan
F: Agudelo, Bedoya
D: Salcido, Marquez, Moreno, Juarez
M: Dos Santos, Barrera, Torrado, Castro
F: Hernandez, de Negris