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Gold Cup Forecaster: Group, title projections

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Gold Cup Forecaster: Which teams are most likely to advance, win title?

Are Michael Bradley and the U.S. or Hector Herrera and Mexico the Gold Cup favorites?
Are Michael Bradley and the U.S. or Hector Herrera and Mexico the Gold Cup favorites?

The 2015 Gold Cup begins on Tuesday, with the CONCACAF title on the line for 12 countries, plus a trip to the 2017 Confederations Cup at stake.

If the United States wins their second straight Gold Cup, the U.S. would qualify directly for the Confed Cup in Russia. But if a different country wins, then a playoff will be held later this year to determine CONCACAF's representative.

The 12-team tournament features three groups of four teams. After round-robin group play, the top two teams advance to the quarterfinals, as do the two best third-place teams.

Because of the forgiving format, the top three CONCACAF teams aren't likely to have difficulty reaching the knockout stage. The United States, Costa Rica and Mexico were seeded atop the groups, and each is heavily favored to win their group. However, the title race projects to be much closer. 

Here's our Soccer Power Index-simulated forecast of every team's group and title finish odds, including team-by-team analysis. (SPI's team rankings and the ratings on which they are based stem from a regression-based algorithm designed to predict soccer matches.)

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Giovani Dos Santos, Javier Hernandez rally Mexico to draw with Costa Rica

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Mexico came back from behind after Javier Hernandez equaled the lead in second half, as Mexico played to a 2-2 draw against Costa Rica in Orlando.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno breaks down Mexico's 2-2 draw with Costa Rica, where Mexico came back from 2-0 down to tie in the second half.
ESPN FC's John Sutcliffe speaks with Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez to discuss his side's 2-2 draw against Costa Rica.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez scored two minutes apart and Mexico overcame a shaky first half to tie Costa Rica 2-2 on Saturday in a friendly before the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Dos Santos, one of several stars returning to the roster after a lesser squad struggled in the Copa America, scored from a sharp angle eight minutes into the second half to start Mexico's comeback from a 2-0 half-time deficit at the Citrus Bowl.

Hernandez, who struggled to get into Real Madrid's lineup...

 By Tom Marshall

In a tale of two halves, Mexico salvage a draw against Costa Rica

Mexico came back from behind after Javier Hernandez equaled the lead in second half, as Mexico played to a 2-2 draw against Costa Rica in Orlando.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno breaks down Mexico's 2-2 draw with Costa Rica, where Mexico came back from 2-0 down to tie in the second half.

ORLANDO -- Mexico came back from 2-0 down at halftime to tie Costa Rica 2-2 on Saturday in El Tri's first preparation game for next month's Gold Cup.

Javier Hernandez netted the equalizer in the 55th minute with a header just two minutes after Giovani Dos Santos had finished to pull Mexico within a goal of Costa Rica.

Los Ticos took the lead through David Ramirez in the fourth and doubled it in the 36th, when Miguel Layun turned the ball into his own net.

Here are our three takes on the match:

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