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2021 Gold Cup Group C Preview: Costa Rica, Jamaica favored to finish top two in group

The Costa Ricans are heavily favored in Group C to advance. Who could join them in the knockout stages of the 2021 Gold Cup?

SOCCER: JUN 09 USA v Costa Rica Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Group C almost already looks cut-and-dried as Costa Rica is favored to win the group with Jamaica heavily favored to finish in second. Both teams have a storied history in the Gold Cup while Suriname makes their first appearance, and Guadeloupe makes their way back after a 10-year dry spell.

Costa Rica

The three-time CONCACAF Cup winners are back again looking for their first Gold Cup title, coming into the tournament as the favorites to top Group C. Their best-ever finish in Gold Cup play was in 2002 when they made it to the final but lost 2-0 to the United States. Since then, they’ve been working to get back to the final match but have only made it as far as the semifinal twice, most recently in 2017. They’ll be led by the likes of Bryan Ruiz and Johan Venegas while featuring a handful of MLS players including Ronald Matarrita (FC Cincinnati), Allan Cruz (FC Cincinnati), Francisco Calvo (Chicago Fire), and Ariel Lassiter (Houston Dynamo).

Jamaica

The Jamaicans are easily favored to finish second, and the odds aren’t even close between them and the favored third-place team Suriname. The Reggae Boyz are back for their 12th appearance in the Gold Cup since it replaced the CONCACAF Cup in 1991. They most recently finished fourth place in 2019, but made it to the final in both 2015 and 2017 where they lost to Mexico and the US respectively. They also feature several MLS players including Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Kemar Lawrence (Toronto FC), and Oniel Fisher (LA Galaxy)

Suriname

This will be Suriname’s first-ever appearance in the Gold Cup, and their first CONCACAF tournament since 1985. They’ll look to make a good impression in Group C and finish in the top two even though the odds are very much stacked against them. They qualified for the Gold Cup through the CONCACAF Nations League, where they finished top of their group in League B, resulting in a promotion to League A and an automatic berth into the 2021 Gold Cup tournament.

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe, who haven’t been to the Gold Cup since 2011, made their way through the preliminary round with a 2-0 victory over the Bahamas followed by a 1-1 draw to Guatemala which ended up with them winning 10-9 in the subsequent penalty shootout. Their best-ever Gold Cup finish came in 2007 when they reached the semifinals in their first appearance ever, and have only made it back twice since then in 2009 and 2011.

Odds to win group, finish second

Costa Rica: -167, -10000
Jamaica: +120, -5000
Suriname: +1600, +600
Guadeloupe: +3500, +900

Group C Schedule

  • Monday July 12, 6:30 p.m. Jamaica vs. Suriname (Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL)
  • Monday July 12, 9 p.m. Costa Rica vs. Guadeloupe (Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL)
  • Friday July 16, 6:30 p.m. Guadeloupe vs. Jamaica (Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL)
  • Friday July 16, 8:30 p.m. Suriname vs. Costa Rica (Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL)
  • Tuesday July 20, 7 p.m. Costa Rica vs. Jamaica (Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL)
  • Tuesday July 20, 7 p.m. Suriname vs. Guadeloupe (BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX)

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