After losing the past two CONCACAF Gold Cups to dominant squads from Mexico, the United States once again finds themselves in the finals for the fifth consecutive year.
Unlike in the previous three Gold Cup finals however, this year the United States will not be taking on the two-time defending champion Mexican team. Following the thrilling 2-1 victory over Mexico down at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, it will be Panama that comes up to Soldier Field in Chicago tomorrow to take on the United States in the championship game.
With Mexico and their obsessive fan base eliminated from the championship game after their disappoint run in this year’s tourney, US soccer fans (and Panama fans) can now get into the Gold Cup championship game at a lower price. As of Saturday afternoon, prices had fallen 30% since Wednesday’s semifinals and may continue to drop as tomorrow’s tilt approaches. Many El Tri supporters had already purchased tickets to the championship, assuming that their squad would make it for the fourth consecutive year and eighth time in the tournament’s twelve runs. Despite Mexico’s record six Gold Cup championships, the faith of Mexico fans was misplaced during this year’s tournament, as they underestimated the underdog from Panama or overestimated the current talent level of this Mexican side.Meanwhile, the United States has cruised through the tournament in dominant fashion typically not shown by the USMNT. Following a dominant 3-0 performance in group play, during which the United States outscored opponents 11 to 2, the red, white and blue has not disappointed in single elimination play either. First dismantling an overmatched El Salvador team by a score of 5-1 in the quarterfinals, and then dispatching another Central American foe, Honduras, by a score of 3-1 in the semifinals.
Led by the return of Landon Donovan to the national team, the United States has outscored opponents by an aggregate of 19 to 4 throughout the tournament. Already, Donovan has registered five goals in five games, with another seven assists in that span.
With a glut of championship game tickets already pre-purchased by Mexico fans flooding the market this week, ticket supply has skyrocketed while cautiously optimistic but less enthusiastic United States fans have waited patiently for less expensive opportunities to purchase their tickets to Soldier Field on Sunday. Those who have will be rewarded for their patience. 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup tickets are on sale with PrimeSport for as little as $32, allowing fans of the United States to get through the turnstiles in Chicago for some intense international soccer action on the cheap.