Former US men's national team midfielder Cobi Jones hopped on to the latest episode of Hablemos Soccer to talk the Concacaf Gold Cup, and an increasing competitiveness in a region dominated by Mexico and the US.
Jones identified El Salvador and Jamaica as two of the more impressive teams during the tournament's group stage, and ones that could make deep runs this summer.
"I have to look at El Salvador," Jones said. " haven't seen any team high press Mexico like that before, so I thought that was impressive and I think Hugo Perez as the coach there is doing some amazing things for El Salvador. I also like Jamaica because they're a talented team. They always seem to be a bit of a wild card but what I love about them is they, organizationally under Theodore Whitmore, have gotten better."
Jones noted the upgrade in quality is connected to an increase in investment across the continent.
"US and Mexico are consistently together and consistently getting better, but as the money starts to flow into other countries, they're getting exponentially better," Jones said. "It's getting tighter and tighter. Everybody's moving up, but it's getting tighter and tighter."
While the Gold Cup is getting more and more competitive, Jones thinks it's still too soon for this tournament and names the US and Mexico as the favorites to compete in the final in Las Vegas.
"I still think, regardless of how good the other teams have gotten, those two teams — Mexico and the US — are still just like one step above and they are of the right frame of mind," he said. "I think they'll find themselves in the final playing each other."