CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 Group D Preview: Grenada, Honduras, Panama, Qatar.
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.
Group D is the most wide-open of the four groups in this competition, with no clear pre-tournament favorite. Qatar has the shortest price of the four teams to win the event at +1700 (all odds from DraftKings). The Maroon was a guest to participate in this North American tournament as preparation for their squad when they compete and host the 2021 World Cup next November. Most of the roster consists of club-level players in Qatar.
Manager Felix Sanchez’s squad is led by forward Akram Afif, who has scored 19 goals in 64 caps for the national team. Forward Hassan Al-Haydos is the all-time leader in caps with 141. The Maroon entered the event with four straight victories from friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches. FIFA ranks Qatar 58th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 45th in the world.
Honduras began the tournament with +2500 odds to lift the trophy. Los Catrachos competed in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups before not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Honduras then finished last in their group in the 2019 Gold Cup with only three points. They finished in third place in the CONCACAF Nations League that concluded last month. The squad’s most recent victory in regulation time is in 2019.
Los Catrachos have an experienced back line led by Houston Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa. The 41-year-old captain is the national team’s all-time leader with 168 caps. Houston Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia has 128 caps for the squad. FIFA ranks Honduras 67th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 58th.
Panama began the event at +4000 pre-tournament odds to win. The Canal Men competed in the 2018 World Cup, where they lost all three of their matches. Panama has reached the knockout stage of every Gold Cup since 2005. They reached the semifinals in 2011 and 2015. The squad lost to Jamaica in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Gold Cup.
Manager Thomas Christiansen began his tenure last July. Only nine players remain from the 2018 World Cup roster. Former Toronto FC midfielder Armando Cooper has 114 caps for the national team. Defender Adolfo Machado plays in his fourth Gold Cup for the squad to add to his 90 caps. The Canal Men entered the tournament with eight international fixtures under their belt in 2021. They rank 78th in the world in the FIFA rankings and 70th in the ELO rating system.
Grenada is the minnow of the group with +20000 pre-tournament odds. The Spice Boys have never won a group stage match in their two previous Gold Cup competitions, scoring just once in six games. Grenada failed to qualify for the last two Gold Cups.
Manager Michael Findlay has an inexperienced squad with only two players in their thirties. Seven of the forwards are under the age of 25. Paradise’s Jamal Charles leads the attack with 14 goals in 25 career caps for the team. The Spice Boys rank 160th in the world by FIFA and 169th in the ELO ratings.