The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (or CONCACAF, for short) will crown a new champion this month at the Gold Cup. Mexico won the Cup when this tournament was last held in 2015, and they’re +120 favorites to defend that title at press time, just ahead of the United States at +140. Costa Rica are third on the list at +700.
There aren’t any true soccer powerhouses in the CONCACAF region, but Mexico is pretty close at No. 11 on the World Elo Football Ratings and No. 17 on the FIFA rankings. Team USA is No. 25 in Elo and No. 22 according to FIFA; these two teams have a win, a loss and two draws over their past four matches against each other, including a 1-1 draw last month in Mexico City.
Costa Rica (No. 29 Elo, No. 19 FIFA) could play spoiler when the Gold Cup kicks off Friday in New Jersey – the US being the host country. There are 12 teams in this tournament, and of the three groups involved, Costa Rica faces the softest competition in Group A. They’ll play Honduras (+2000), Canada (+3300) and French Guiana (+15000) in the Group Stage.