Panama vs. Mexico | Gold Cup Semifinal Preview
Neither Mexico or Panama are firing on all cylinders, and yet each stand 90 minutes from a shot at a Gold Cup title. El Tri are the clear favorites, despite the fact Panama scored a famous upset in the same stage of the tournament two years ago.
Will Mexico do their part to set up a sixth final against the United States or a clash with Jamaica? Will Panama get another shot at their first-ever title? It will all be decided on Wednesday in Atlanta in front of what is expected to a be a predominantly pro-Mexico crowd.
WILL GIOVANI PLAY?: The short answer, with a few caveats, is probably. On Tuesday, Herrera told reporters that he expected LA Galaxy Designated Player Giovani dos Santos to be available, provided the winger didn't have any issues during Tuesday's training session.
"Giovani is doing fine," Herrera said. "Today in the afternoon we'll see how he is in training. We'll consider him unless he tells me he isn't 100 percent."
Healthy or not, it doesn't appear Dos Santos will start for El Tri.
PANAMA EYE ANOTHER FINAL: Outside the US and Mexico, only one CONCACAF team – Brazil played in the final twice as a guest team – has made more than one Gold Cup final appearance. That'd be Panama, who fell to the US in 2005 (PKs) and 2013.
Can they make it two in a row? The path is the same as 2013: Los Canaleros must take down Mexico in the semifinals to play for the cup.
GUARDADO TAKES REINS OF EL TRI: No matter what you think about the call that decided Mexico's quarterfinal against Costa Rica, it's clear the man tasked with making that penalty kick count has no doubts about his ability or place in El Tri. That, of course, would be Andres Guardado, who has gone from fringe starter to Eredivisie MVP to Mexico captain in a little more than a year.
HERRERA SLAMS GOLD CUP TRAVEL: Whether it's sour grapes or a legitimate gripe, Herrera was not happy about the travel conditions his squad faced between New York and Atlanta. Citing a long wait, crowded conditions and difficulties with luggage, Herrera wondered why his team faced those challenges when they were also the "ones who put most fans in the stadiums."
"Mexico is the team that fills the stadiums and we are not being treated well," Herrera said. "... We should be getting more consideration,"