2017 Gold Cup Expert Picks and Predictions for USA vs El Salvador

2017 Gold Cup Expert Picks and Predictions for USA vs El Salvador

Written by on July 18, 2017

In major tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championships, all of the teams taking part need to name their squad of 24 players before the tournament begins. Once that list is in, the squad is set in stone, and no additions can be made after the fact, no matter how many injuries a team might pick up during the tournament. Things are a little more lax in the 2017 Gold Cup, as teams can make changes to their squad once the group stage is over. For some teams, this is the perfect opportunity to bring in replacements for injured players, while for others, it is the chance to strengthen the squad in hopes of going on to win the tournament. Coach Bruce Arena has shown that he wants to win this tournament, as he has brought in 6 veteran players to the US squad, including Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, and Captain Michael Bradley.

Find the latest 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup betting odds here.

It had been an experimental squad that the US used during the group stage, but their less than impressive performance almost demanded that Arena do something ahead of their quart-final clash against El Salvador. Even without these additions, this would still be a game that the US would be expected to win. El Salvador booked their passage to this round via one of the 3rd place group finishes, and they look as though they may end up being nothing more than a potential warm-up game for the new additions to the US squad. There have not been a ton of surprises in this tournament so far, but you can bet that El Salvador will be going all out to deliver the first big shock on Wednesday night.

2017 Gold Cup Expert Picks and Predictions for USA vs El Salvador

When: Wednesday, July 19 at 9 PM EST Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia TV: FS1 Live Stream: FOX Sports GO FIFA Odds: USA -1½ (-130)

Why bet on USA

You can say that the experiment of using the fringe players in the opening round worked, since the USA did land on the top of their group, but it can also be argued that they made things a lot more difficult than they needed to be. The US got their Gold Cup started with a lackluster 1-1 tie versus Panama in a game that they might have lost had it not been for Brad Guzan in goal. They followed that up with a sloppy 3-2 win over Martinique in a game where they surrendered a 2-goal lead before a Jordan Morris winner secured the 3 points. The USA group stage ended with a much more convincing 3-0 win over Nicaragua, which was enough to secure top spot in the group. The addition of the veteran players should add some much-needed punch to this side, and should also help the US become the favorites to win the 2017 Gold Cup.

USA CONCACAF Gold Cup Record

YearRoundPositionPldWD*LGFGA
El Salvador 1963Did Not Enter
Guatemala 1965Did Not Enter
Honduras 1967Did Not Enter
Costa Rica 1969Did Not Qualify
Trinidad and Tobago 1971Did Not Enter
Haiti 1973Did Not Qualify
Mexico 1977Did Not Qualify
Honduras 1981Did Not Qualify
1985Group Stage6th421143
1989Runners-up2nd843163
United States 1991Champions1st5410103
Mexico United States 1993Runners-up2nd540155
United States 1996Third Place3rd430183
United States 1998Runners-up2nd430162
United States 2000Quarter-Finals5th321062
United States 2002Champions1st541091
Mexico United States 2003Third Place3rd540134
United States 2005Champions1st6420113
United States 2007Champions1st6600133
United States 2009Runners-up2nd6411128
United States 2011Runners-up2nd640296
United States 2013Champions1st6600204
Canada United States 2015Fourth Place4th6321124
United States 2017Group StageTBD321073
Total14/145 titles8259131014157
  El Salvador have made it to this stage of the 2017 Gold Cup tournament 3 times, they have never gone further.  

Why bet on El Salvador

El Salvador were in a tough spot in a Group C that also featured Mexico and Jamaica. Getting the 3rd place spot was probably a solid case of “mission accomplished” for this team, as that was probably their realistic goal heading into this tournament. El Salvador were soundly beaten 3-1 in their opening game against Mexico, but gave themselves a real lifeline with a 2-0 win over Curacao in their final game. There was still work to do to secure a quarter-final spot, which they did by tying 1-1 with Jamaica in the final group game. While El Salvador have made it to this stage of the tournament 3 times prior to this year, they have never gone further. The last time they reached the quarter-finals was in 2013, and they ended up going down 5-1 versus the US in that one.

El Salvador CONCACAF Gold Cup Record

YearRoundPldWD*LGFGA
El Salvador 1963Runner-Up7331177
Guatemala 1965Fourth Place521279
Honduras 1967Did not enter
Costa Rica 1969Banned
Trinidad and Tobago 1971Withdrew
Haiti 1973Did not qualify
Mexico 1977Third Place521289
Honduras 1981Runner-Up522121
1985Fourth Place421172
1989Fifth Place602428
United States 1991Did not qualify
United States Mexico 1993Did not qualify
United States 1996Round 1210134
United States 1998Round 1301206
United States 2000Did not qualify
United States 2002Quarter-finals310215
United States Mexico 2003Quarter-finals310237
United States 2005Did not qualify
United States 2007Round 1310226
United States 2009Round 1310223
United States 2011Quarter-finals412188
United States 2013Quarter-finals412148
United States Canada 2015Group Stage302112
United States 2017TBD311144
Total16/23631917277189
 

Expert Pick and 2017 Gold Cup Final Score Prediction

The US are coming into this game as the big favorites, but perhaps more importantly, they will be looking to put in a better performance than what they have delivered so far. The addition of those 6 new players should certainly help, and I think they win this one going away.

USA 3 El Salvador 1