Never fire Chepo, FMF.
Thanks in large part to Chepo de la Torre's incompetence sabotaging Mexico, the United States never had to face their biggest rivals en route to an easy victory in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They were able to capitalize on weaker competition en route to outscoring their competition 20-4 and trailing for only 11 minutes all tournament.
Having had Mexico eliminated before they could face them, the United States secured Gold Cup simply by beating Belize, Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama. It should not be of much surprise that the two teams who provided the stiffest competition to the U.S. in the Gold Cup were the two teams who remain in contention for 2014 World Cup qualification in the CONCACAF hexagonal.
This afternoon's final was a rather chippy affair and a bit of a ref show, unfortunately. Joel Aguilar of El Salvador missed multiple calls on both sides, though perhaps none more notable than not giving the U.S. a penalty call after a 2nd half hand ball in the box.
But despite not getting that break, the United States still managed to overcome the weaker opposition. In his first touch after coming on as a second half substitute, Brek Shea managed to score the game's first and only goal in the 69th minute. Taking a cross from Alejandro Bedoya, Landon Donovan deflected the ball past Jaime Penedo and Brek Shea was there to slot the ball into the wide open net.
Panama never tested Nick Rimando, and the U.S. were able to cruise to victory and their 5th ever Gold Cup.
Not all was beautiful for the USMNT today, though as Stuart Holden went down in the first half with an injury. The injury, diagnosed as a sprain right knee, hopefully is not serious.
Injury blemish aside, the U.S. could not have hoped for a more successful Gold Cup. Landon Donovan appeared in great form and easily took home Player of the Gold Cup honors, young players got to play in meaningful CONCACAF matches, and despite not playing their best players, the U.S. still won the tournament easily. With this win, the USMNT have assured themselves a spot in a playoff with the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The winner of this playoff will be the team who represents CONCACAF in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Here's hoping Mexico never fires Chepo and the U.S. can just waltz through that 2015 Gold Cup as well.