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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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Mexico draw 0-0 with Honduras as Javier Hernandez leaves with injury

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Mexico striker Javier Hernandez broke his collarbone as Mexico and Honduras settled for a goalless draw in their friendly match in Houston.

HOUSTON -- Mexico's Gold Cup chances could take a hit after Tuesday's tune-up game with Honduras. Star forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez left the scoreless draw with a collarbone injury.

"We still don't have a report," Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera said through a translator. "Yes, there's an impact, but we're just thinking about what's ahead. This is an unfortunate situation we cannot fix. With Chicharito he was going through a great moment in his career and the injury came; but we're just...

Jose Juan Vazquez stars for Mexico in shaky match vs. Honduras

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez broke his collarbone as Mexico and Honduras settled for a goalless draw in their friendly match in Houston.
Mexico's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez broke his collarbone in a friendly against Honduras.

Worries continue to mount for Mexico before the start of the Gold Cup. The team hasn't won in its past seven matches and star striker Javier Hernandez appears to be doubtful for the upcoming tournament after leaving Mexico's 0-0 draw with Honduras with a collarbone injury.

Wednesday night proved that with a more defensive and physical approach, a squad like Honduras can scrape by against Mexico. Los Catrachos did an excellent job absorbing El Tri's attack and shut down Mexico with their aggressive...