Gold Cup: How the Hex rivals shape up

This being a Hexagonal year, the USA will be tracking its four competitors in World Cup qualifying who will be at the Gold Cup. (T&T failed to qualify.) Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama are all sending close to first teams; Mexico, which went to the Confederations Cup, is fielding a "B" team.

COSTA RICA. The Ticos have the strongest squad of any Hex team at the Gold Cup. Of its regulars, the only notable absentees are goalkeeper Keylor Navas (who won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid) and Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston. Six players were recalled from Europe.

Dany Carvajal (Saprissa); Leonel Moreira (Herediano); Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense)
DEFENDERS (9): Johnny Acosta (Herediano); Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United); Christian Gamboa (Celtic, SCO); Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna, ITA); Kenner Gutierrez (Alajuelense); Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland, ENG); Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense); Michael Umana (Cartagines), Juan Pablo Vargas (Herediano).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Randall Azofeifa (Herediano); Joel Campbell (Arsenal, ENG); David Guzman (Portland Timbers); Bryan Ruiz (Sporting, POR); Ulises Segura (Saprissa); Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne, SUI); Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)
FORWARDS (4): David Ramirez (Saprissa); Ariel Rodriguez (Bangkok Glass, THA); Marco Urena (San Jose Earthquakes); Johan Venegas (Minnesota United)

HONDURAS. The Catrachos sit in fifth place after six games so they'll need a big Gold Cup -- bigger than two years ago when they failed to make the knockout stage. The Houston Dynamo's Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto will lead the Honduran attack.

Ricardo Canales (Vida); Donis Escober (Olimpia); Luis Lopez (Real Espana)
DEFENDERS (8): Ever Alvarado (Olimpia); Brayan Beckeles (Club Necaxa, MEX); Felix Crisanto Motagua); Henry Figueroa (Motagua); Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas); Marcelo Pereira (Motagua); Carlos Sanchez (Honduras Progreso); Allans Vargas (Real Espana)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Bryan Acosta (Real Espana); Jorge Claros (Real Espana); Carlos Discua (Motagua); Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo); Ovidio Lanza (Juticalpa); Alex Lopez (Olimpia); Alfredo Mejia (Xanthi, GRE); Sergio Pena (Real Sociedad)
FORWARDS (4): Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo); Antony Lozano (Tenerife, ESP); Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad); Romell Quioto (Houston Dynamo).

MEXICO. Coach Juan Carlos Osorio will send the weakest team of the five Hex teams at the Gold Cup, having played his best players at the Confederations Cup in Russia. Of the players whom he played against the USA in the 1-1 tie on June 11, only first-half sub Jesus Gallardo will play at the Gold Cup. The Dynamo's Erick Torres was a last-minute replacement for injured Alan Pulido.

Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul); Miguel Angel Fraga (Atlas); Moises Munoz (Puebla)
DEFENDERS (9): Hugo Ayala (Tigres); Raul Lopez (Pachuca); Hedgardo Marin (Guadalajara); Alejandro Mayorga (Guadalajara); Jesus Molina (Monterrey); Cesar Montes (Monterrey); Jair Pereira (Guadalajara); Luis Reyes (Atlas); Luis Rodriguez (Tigres)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Edson Alvarez (Club America); Jesus Duenas (Tigres); Jesus Gallardo (UNAM); Jorge Hernandez (Pachuca); Rodolfo Pizarro (Guadalajara)
FORWARDS (6): Martin Barragan (Necaxa); Erick Gutierrez (Pachuca); Elias Hernandez (Leon); Orbelin Pineda (Guadalajara); Angel Sepulveda (Morelia), Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo).

PANAMA. Veterans like Jaime Penedo, Roman Torres and Blas Perez aren't at the Gold Cup, but the Canaleros, who open against the USA, have plenty of regulars. They include MLS players Michael Murillo, Armando Cooper and Anibal Godoy.

Jose Calderon (Marathon, HON); Orlando Mosquera (Tauro); Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco)
DEFENDERS (8): Roberto Chen (Arabe Unido); Eric Davis (DunajskA Streda, SVK); Fidel Escobar (Sporting, POR); Roderick Miller (Atletico Nacional, COL); Michael Murillo (NY Red Bulls); Luis Ovalle (Zamora, VEN); Angel Patrick (Arabe Unido); Jan Vargas (Tauro).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Edgar Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula, MEX); Miguel Camargo (New York City FC); Armando Cooper (Toronto FC); Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes); Gabriel Gomez (Atletico Bucaramanga, COL); Leslie Heraldez (Arabe Unido); Josiel Nunez (Plaza Amador); Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador)
FORWARDS (4): Abdiel Arroyo (Danubio, URU); Ricardo Clarke (Zamora, VEN); Ismael Diaz (Porto B, POR); Gabriel Torres (Lausanne, SUI).

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