Mexico celebrate 2015 Gold Cup Championship
USA Today Sports

Gold Cup Power Rankings: Who are the favorites heading into the tournament?

Ahead of the 2017 Gold Cup, MLSsoccer.com editors cast their votes ranking the 12 nations competing in the tournament. You can find the final results below.


1. Mexico

It may be a B-team, but anyone who's been paying attention knows Mexico's depth is nothing to sniff at. The defending champs can still put a scary XI out there. -NICK ROSANO

2. USA

The strength of this team should be the spine – goalkeeper, central defense, central midfield, center forward. The questions will revolve around a lack of goalscoring and speed on the flanks. A healthy, in-form Kekuta Manneh would've been so valuable for this group... -MATT DOYLE

3. Costa Rica

It's somewhat shocking that Costa Rica have never won this tournament. After an incredible run in the 2014 World Cup, Los Ticos disappointed in the 2015 edition. But unlike USA and Mexico, they have brought their A-team this year and we should expect them to compete for the trophy, led by Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell. -BEN BAER

4. Panama

Similar to their Central American counterparts, Panama are slowly blooding new talent for a post-Blas Perez era. And if they can find someone to replace his goals, they could even aim for Costa Rica’s third-place perch. -SIMON BORG

5. Honduras

Not having the talented Andy Najar hurts, but Honduras boast some good attacking prospects. Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis could be in store for a breakout tournament, though Los Catrachos will need more than just goals to make even the slightest bit of noise in the knockout rounds. -FRANCO PANIZO

6. Jamaica

Can the Reggae Boyz replicate the heights of 2015, when they upset the US on the way to their first-ever Gold Cup final, a 3-1 defeat to Mexico? In a word, unlikely. Drawn into Group C with El Tri, they’ll open against Curacao, who beat them in the Caribbean Cup final in June. Still, with a contingent of established MLSers, anything less than the quarterfinals will be a disappointment. -ANDREW WIEBE

7. Canada

Cyle Larin’s not arriving until the knockouts, but Canada seem headed… somewhere under Octavio Zambrano. Gunning for it at Gold Cup when the US and Mexico are experimenting means there might be a surprise North American rep standing at the end of this thing. -BEN COUCH

8. El Salvador

This younger group (no players over 29) may just have what it takes to book a quarterfinal appearance, though a shock result against Mexico in Group C may be a bridge too far. -NICK ROSANO

9. Curacao

They're a mystery that shouldn't be mistaken for complete patsies, as they did just beat Jamaica. Their squad is filled with guys who are solid pros mostly in the Dutch 2nd tier, with a few others – notably Aston Villa jack-of-all-trades Leandro Bacuna and Vitesse Arnhem 'keeper Eloy Room – sprinkled in. -MATT DOYLE

10. Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s Gold Cup history is scant – they went 0-3 in their only previous appearance, in 2009 – and they've lost seven of their 11 games this year. If they make any noise, it’ll be through Real Esteli duo Bryan Garcia and Carlos Chavarría, talented young attackers, or veteran Juan Barrera. -ANDREW WIEBE

11. French Guiana

Florent Malouda, yes that Florent Malouda, leads a team full of unknowns into the French province's first Gold Cup. They will be playing in the tournament's toughest group, with Costa Rica, Honduras and Canada. Guingamp striker Sloan Privat is the other name to watch: He scored a hat trick against Haiti in the Caribbean Cup qualifying win that got them here. -BEN BAER

12. Martinique

Les Matinino would argue that their four previous Gold Cup participations should count for something, especially in a ranking that includes first-timers French Guiana. Except their pipeline of talent from mainland France is not flowing nearly as well. -SIMON BORG