CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 Group C Preview: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, Guadeloupe.
The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place from July 10th through August 1st, with the finals in Las Vegas. The United States hosts all the games in 10 stadiums throughout nine cities.
The Group C favorite is Costa Rica with a +1400 pre-tournament price (all odds from DraftKings). The Ticos reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup. After reaching the semifinals of the 2017 Gold Cup, Costa Rica lost in a penalty shootout to Mexico in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Gold Cup. They have reached the knockout quarterfinals stage of this tournament six straight times.
The Ticos are winless in their last six matches in international play entering this event. They lost on penalty kicks again to Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations League on June 3rd. Joel Campbell leads the attack with 19 goals in 99 caps for the team. Midfielders Celso Borges and Allan Cruz form the foundation in the midfield. Borges plays professionally in Spain, and Cruz plays for FC Cincinnati in the MLS. Paris Saint-German goalkeeper Keylor Navas is not on this roster as he prepares for the upcoming Ligue 1 season. FIFA ranks Costa Rica 50th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 51st.
Jamaica was given +2500 pre-tournament odds to win the tournament. The Reggae Boyz have reached three straight semifinals in this competition with two-second place finishes in 2015 and 2017. Jamaica is unbeaten in their last nine group stage matches in the Gold Cup. The team goes into this event winless in their last four matches, although all four games were friendlies.
Manager Theodore Whitmore aggressively recruits European professionals who meet the eligibility requirements to represent the Jamaican national team. This roster consists primarily of players who play in the MLS, with a few players who compete in Europe. The MLS’s Philadelphia Union is represented with three players in forward Cory Burke, defender Alvas Powell, and Andre Blake, who was named the top keeper in the league last season. Bayer Leverkusen wing Leon Bailey plays upfront. Miami FC midfielders Lamar Walker and Devon Williams patrol the middle of the field. The Reggae Boyz rank 45th in the world by FIFA and 61st in the ELO ratings.
Suriname was listed with +2000 pre-tournament odds. The Natio is making its debut appearance in a Gold Cup competition, although they did compete in the 1985 CONCACAF Championship before the event changed its name. Suriname had won three straight matches this year by a 15-0 goal margin before losing to Canada, 4-0, in their most recent World Cup qualifying match on June 8th.
Manager Dean Gorre has a roster dominated by players who play professionally in Europe. The Netherlands are well-represented, led by fullbacks Ridgeciano Haps and Dion Malone, and Ajax right back Sean Klaiber. Gleofilo Vlijter leans the attack after scoring ten goals in the CONCACAF Nations League for the Natio. FIFA ranks Suriname 136th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 130th.
Guadeloupe had pre-tournament odds of +25000 to win the tournament. The Gwada Boys are competing in their first Gold Cup since 2011. Their claim to fame in this event was in 2007 when they lost to Mexico, 1-0, in the semifinals. They ride a six-game unbeaten streak with 23 goals scored after winning their qualifying match via penalty kicks against Guatemala on July 6th.
Manager Jocelyn Angloma has assembled a young roster consisting of only three players that have at least ten caps international competition for the national team. Only eight players compete in a professional league. The Gwada Boys are not ranked by FIFA as a non-member. The ELO ratings place them 148th in the world.