The Sporting News’s Brian Straus broke down the various scenarios for the U.S. following tonight’s final group-stage game against Guadeloupe, and it looks like a quarterfinal meeting with the Reggae Boyz is on the cards for Father’s Day in Washington, D.C.
If the U.S. beats or ties Guadeloupe (likely), and Panama beats or ties Canada (also likely*), the Yanks will finish second in Group C and take on Group B winners Jamaica (which won all three of their group matches without conceding a goal).
The U.S. could also get Guatemala, or, if they drop to third place, a dreaded meeting with Mexico. They could also be bounced out of the tournament altogether.
Since Canada and Jamaica kick off at 7:00 at Livestrong Sporting Park, the U.S. will know just what they need before taking the same field to face Guadeloupe at 9:00.
*Panama are through to the quarterfinals, but could still drop all the way to third in Group C with a loss. That would land them in a quarterfinal matchup with Mexico, something they’ll be eager to avoid.
Here are the complicated possibilities, according to Straus:
For the U.S. to win Group C and face Guatemala in the quarterfinals on June 19 in Washington, DC:
The U.S. must defeat Guadeloupe and Canada must defeat Panama.
The three teams would then be tied at 2-1-0, and goal difference in the games played between the three would be the tiebreaker.
The U.S. would win the group if:
It defeats Guadeloupe and Canada defeats Panama by one or two goals.
It scores at least twice in a win over Guadeloupe and Canada beats Panama, 3-0.
It beats Guadeloupe 1-0, Canada wins 3-0 and the U.S. wins a subsequent drawing of lots.
For the U.S. to finish second in Group C and face Jamaica in the quarterfinals on June 19 in Washington, DC:
A quarterfinal date with the Reggae Boyz (3-0-0) is the most likely outcome. It will occur if the U.S. beats or ties Guadeloupe while Panama defeats or ties Canada.
It can also happen if:
The U.S. loses to Guadeloupe by one goal and Panama defeats Canada.
The U.S. beats Guadeloupe 1-0, Canada beats Panama 3-0 and the U.S. loses a subsequent drawing of lots.
The U.S. defeats Guadeloupe and Canada beats Panama by three goals while scoring at least four, or by a four-goal margin.
For the U.S. to finish third in Group C and face Mexico in the quarterfinals on June 18 in East Rutherford, NJ:
If the U.S. ties Guadeloupe and Canada defeats Panama, the Americans will head to the New Meadowlands Stadium and a nightmare quarterfinal matchup with a Mexican side that won its three first-found games by a combined 14-1.
For the U.S. to be eliminated from the Gold Cup:
The U.S. loses to Guadeloupe and Canada defeats or ties Panama.
The U.S. loses to Guadeloupe by two or more goals and Panama beats Canada.