The ultimate quarterfinal clash of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup will see the USA taking on Curacao at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sunday night. The USMNT is a runaway fave to qualify for the semis and shouldn’t have any problem to beat Curacao, but let’s take a closer look and find the best bets.
USA vs. Curacao
Three-way: 1: USA -833; X: +700 Draw; 2: Curacao +1800
Spread -2.5: USA +110; Curacao -140
Total 3 Goals: Over -125; Under +100
Both Teams to Score: Yes +175; No -250
The USMNT cruised through the group stage with three wins and an 11:0 goal difference, topping the Group D ahead of Panama. Gregg Berhalter’s boys thrashed off Guyana 4-0 and Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 in the first two rounds, while they clinched the top spot with a fully deserved 1-0 victory over Panama. Berhalter mixed things a bit in the third round, leaving Christian Pulisic and Gyasi Zardes on the bench, but his team still put on a strong performance.
Forward Gyasi Zardes (48 caps, 10 goals) is leading the way for the USMNT with three goals, while defender Aaron Long (8 caps, 2 goals), forward Paul Arriola (25 caps, 5 goals), and winger Tyler Boyd (4 caps, 2 goals) all added two goals each. Midfielder Christian Pulisic (28 caps, 11 goals) scored one goal and made a couple of assists, and he’s a key player for the USMNT.
- USA won six of its last nine games along with two losses and a draw
- Both teams scored once in the USA’s last 11 outings
- Three of the USA’s last four contests saw three or more goals in the total
Curacao was pretty lucky to qualify for the 2019 Gold Cup knockout stage. They finished the group phase at the second spot of Group C standings with four points and a 2:2 goal difference, one point behind Jamaica. Third-placed El Salvador also had four points, but Curacao proceeded through the elimination round thanks to a better goal difference. In the ultimate round of the group stage, Curacao played a 1-1 draw with Jamaica, while El Salvador lost 4-0 to Honduras.
The 30-year old goalie Eloy Room (29 caps) is Curacao’s best player at this tournament, and he’s recorded 20 saves over the previous three games. Midfielder Leandro Bacuna (25 caps, 11 goals) scored the winning goal against Honduras, while he assisted to Jurien Gaari (12 caps, 1 goal) for the equalizer against Jamaica.
- Curacao lost two of its last six games along with a couple of wins and draws
- Curacao kept its net intact once in its last six outings
- Curacao’s last four outings saw two or fewer goals in the total
I’m pretty sure Curacao won’t pull off an upset here, but it’s hard to say if the USMNT can win this game by three or more goals to cover a 2.5-goal spread. Curacao will park the bus and wait for its chances through counter attacks, while the USA will control the ball in the middle of the park, trying to break the deadlock as soon as possible.
I think the USMNT will stay focused to score early in the game which would make this game a one-way street. Eloy Room is a solid goalie and Curacao will defend will all ten players, but the reigning champions should really score at least three goals against them. Jamaica missed plenty of massive scoring opportunities, and I believe the USMNT won’t blow its’ chances.
The Pick: USA AH -2.5 (+110)