It seems like it would be too soon to forget Costa Rica's inspiring and exciting run in the 2014 World Cup, but that remains the most plausible explanation for the team being so lightly regarded in the upcoming Gold Cup tournament. Many, including the Mexico and United States squads themselves, seem to believe that these two are destined to meet in the final yet again and have dismissed the chances of any other CONCACAF team to claim the title.
It's odd partly because besides impressing with a run...
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.)
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...