US disdain for a useless tournament

The USA team has been eliminated from the Gold Cup (Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The United States national team was excluded from the semifinals of the Gold Cup, a tournament in which it has historically been the protagonist due to the number of finals played, because it is one of the dominant teams in CONCACAF and because, since the birth of this competition, it has been the only country to host all editions. The Stars and Stripes were eliminated on penalties against Panama. In a match that was close from the beginning until 30 minutes of extra time, the locals were unable to impose their conditions.

However, far from being a setback for the USA, this tournament served to help them see how other players who are not the team's stars can develop. The tournament didn't matter much to the North American team and they showed it when They announced that they would compete for the cup with the “B Team”. In this edition, football players like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Giovanni Reyna, Timothy Weah or Ricardo Pepe Who have already taken on a larger role within their team.

Even with those absences Brian Callahan was the interim coach for the United States. He has compiled a selection based on players who have previously had their chance with the first team, but have not impressed in the above form. Most of those called up play in Major League Soccer, and only five of them play on the Old Continent. Alejandro Zendejas and Alan Soñora, both of whom play in Liga MX, have also been called up.

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The USA are clear that the Gold Cup is no longer of much use to them, as they have not even had an opponent who has put them in serious trouble during the previous two editions they have won. Even Mexico has not been able to return to optimal form to upset this team and the most convincing evidence is the dominance of the Stars and Stripes over the tricolor in recent official duels. Although it never earned the title of “Concacaf Giant”, today it is the team that performs best in the region.

in the next years, The United States will not have to compete in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers because it is a host, but it will test its level at the next Copa America tournament in 2024. There you can make a deep analysis when you have to face teams of a higher level than those in CONCACAF. In the Copa America, a CONMEBOL tournament, the team plays the current world champion and this raises the level of competition.

On the other hand, the fact that their best men will not participate in this Gold Cup allows them to have a proper pre-season with their teams. One of the most notable cases is that of Christian Pulisic who has just signed with Milan. The Italian team has begun to return to the reputation that characterizes it within European football and to remain that way as it brought in the American striker. Adapting to one of the most important leagues in the world is a priority for him and his team.

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On the other side, Mexico smiles that the United States is already out of the competition due to the recent records maintained by both teams. The Tricolor is fielding its elite squad because it is a team that needs to win in a region it has dominated for a long time and which is now done better by its neighbors to the north. If they don't win it, it will be a miserable failure for Trey, who, although they know that participating in this cup is of little benefit to them, must resolve their broken relationship with their fans and improve their image in the football world. .

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