Can Canada Beat Costa Rica In The Gold Cup?

BMO Field in Toronto will feature two of the final Gold Cup group stage games later today.  The late game features the Canadian soccer team betting on their first win of the competition against Costa Rica.

To secure a position in the next round of the competition, Canada needs a win tonight against Costa Rica.  A draw could be enough to allow the Canadians to reach the knockout round as one of a handful of third place teams to advance, but a win is necessary to ensure the team reaches the next round.  A loss tonight and the game is over for Canada.

For the Canadians to get a win tonight, the attackers need to find ways to score goals.  The team has been kept off the scoreboard in the first two games of the competition in a scoreless draw with El Salvador and a 1-0 loss to Jamaica.

Part of the team’s lacklustre offensive effort is the responsibility of coach Benito Floro.  Floro deployed only one striker in the games with El Salvador and Jamaica, which limited opportunities to convert scoring chances into goals.  If the team hopes to finally get on the scoreboard, there needs to be more offensive firepower up front.

Players like Simeon Jackson and Marcus Haber need to be fired up tonight to beat Costa Rica.  Both men have had careers that included spells in the English Premier League, one of the top soccer leagues in the world where they scored critical goals for their respective clubs.  They have been kept scoreless in the Gold Cup to date and that needs to change to advance past Costa Rica.

The good news for Canada is that BMO Field is a good venue for their side.  The team is undefeated in Toronto since losing to Peru in 2010, and won six of their last ten matches at BMO Field.

The bad news is that Costa Rica is one of the top teams in CONCACAF, and among the highest ranked squads in the world outside of Europe.  If the Canadians are betting on an upset, they need to find holes in Costa Rica’s game and exploit those weaknesses.

Kickoff is at 8:30 EST tonight.  By the end of the game, Canada could take a step closer towards claiming the Gold Cup trophy or see those aspirations come to a disappointing end.  We’ll know for sure in a few short hours.