Gold Cup Semis Tonight at Soldier Field

Panama vs. USA

Chicago's getting a double dip of soccer action as the Gold Cup semifinals make their way to Soldier Field on Thursday for an exciting night of international soccer.

I'll be at Soldier Field for both the U.S. - Honduras match as well as the Costa Rica - Mexico game (look for a matchday post later on in the day, I might provide a bit of running commentary...) and you can [click here](,0,5208617.story) to read the semifinal preview I put together for the Tribune.

Read on after the jump for some more coverage on the U.S. - Honduras match and two (that's right, two!) predictions that will inevitably both be wrong. **USA vs. Honduras**

The U.S. team, winners of the last two Gold Cups, will take on Honduras tomorrow (6 p.m., FSC/TeleFutura) for the right to advance to Sunday's Gold Cup final at Giants Stadium.

Honduras and America are quickly becoming very familiar with each other (tonight's match will be the third game for the two teams in the last month and a half...) and despite the U.S.'s recent success against 'Los Catrachos,' the game figures to be a hard fought affair.

The U.S. and Honduras last faced off in the group stage of the Gold Cup on July 8th in Washington D.C. The U.S. won that match 2-0 en route to finishing in first place in their group but they got key contributions from midfielder Benny Feilhaber and forward Charlie Davies, both of whom are in Europe with their respective club teams.

I asked U.S. Head Coach Bob Bradley who he thought would step up in Feilhaber and Davies's absence and, well, he wasn't very specific with his answer (sadly he didn't name a single player in the quote...) so I'll answer my own question and say that Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman will bring it tonight.

The dreadlocked Beckerman has had an excellent tournament so far and I see him capping his solid play with a goal in the semifinals.

As for a prediction, I'll say the U.S. defeats the dangerous Hondurans (watch out for forward Carlos Costly, he scored at Soldier Field in June against the U.S. in a World Cup Qualifier)2-1 with the aforementioned Beckerman and Houston's Brian Ching getting the tallies for the 'Nats.

**Mexico vs. Costa Rica**

The second half of tonight's doubleheader features traditional CONCACAF powers Mexico and Costa Rica squaring off in what should be a very good game.

I'm expecting a great atmosphere for this one at Soldier Field (the Mexican team will undoubtedly be the beneficiaries of some awesome support...) and I think that 'El Tri' comes out on top, beating the 'Ticos 3-2.

Watch out for Mexico's Miguel Sabah, the 29-year-old striker has four goals in the tournament and scored twice in Mexico's 4-0 quarterfinal win over Haiti.


I'm interested in hearing your predictions so post below and see if you can do any better than me -- which, given my track record in this sort of thing, shouldn't be too difficult.


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  • GO U.S.A. !!!!!

  • this is going to be a GREAT night. I was rooting hard for mexico (for once!) sunday because I knew a costa rica/mexico nightcap would really add to the atmosphere tonight. should be a good time.

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