CONCACAF Gold Cup Preview

The 2019 Gold Cup gets underway this Saturday with CONCACAF bragging rights and a possible spot in the 2021 Confederations Cup on the line. Historically, the tournament has been dominated by the United States and Mexico.

However, both teams enter this tournament with serious questions, making this tournament the most wide open it's ever been. Let's take a look at the teams to watch heading into the Gold Cup.

Mexico, +135

The Mexicans could almost field a team made of prominent players who will be absent from the Gold Cup, as the likes of Chicharito Hernandez, Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, Hector Herrera, and Jesus Corona will all be missing in action.

However, El Tri is still the most talented team in the tournament, especially defensively. The key for Mexico will be striker Raul Jimenez being able to score goals with so many of Mexico's most dangerous scorers away from the team. If Jimenez and Mexico can find a way to score goals, they'll be difficult to beat.

United States, +150

After a pair of uninspired losses leading up to the tournament, the Americans are reeling heading into this year's Gold Cup. To be fair, the U.S. didn't have Michael Bradley or Christian Pulisic in those games, and having those two should make a difference. However, the back line is a huge concern; John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin, and Tyler Adams will all miss the Gold Cup due to injury.

The X-factors will be whether Pulisic can find his form after not playing in the recent friendly matches and whether Jozy Altidore can reassert himself as a goal-scoring force on the international level. With an unreliable defense, the U.S. will have to score a lot of goals in order to defend their Gold Cup title.

Costa Rica, +800

The Ticos have long been the third-best team in CONCACAF, so they'll look at this year's Gold Cup as their chance to win it all with both Mexico and the U.S. looking vulnerable. The caveat for Costa Rica is they won't have goalie Keylor Navas anchoring their defense. However, the core of the team from last year's World Cup is still in place.

The Ticos may have struggled last summer in Russia, but the Gold Cup is a big step down in competition, which is why they're a great dark horse. Given the experience of players like Bryan Ruiz, Celso Borges, Alvaro Saborio, and the always-dangerous Joel Campbell, Costa Rica is not to be overlooked.

Jamaica, +1600

The Reggae Boyz have surprisingly been the runners up at the last two Gold Cups. That should provide them with more than enough confidence to make a deep run and perhaps take advantage of the U.S. and Mexico being a little out of sorts. Jamaica's biggest strength is on the defensive side, which is a good way to make another deep run.

However, the Reggae Boyz must find a way to score goals. Only one player on the roster has more than five international goals, although Bayern Leverkusen youngster Leon Bailey gives them a potential difference maker on the attack despite his lack of international experience.