The 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage is done and dusted, so now it’s time to highlight the players who distinguished themselves in their first three respective matches.
Luis Lopez, GK, Honduras — “I’m speechless,” said Honduras defender Henry Figueroa to ESPN FC about Lopez’s performance in the 0-0 draw vs. Canada. It’s hard to disagree. Lopez made a number of sensational saves not just against Canada but in all three matches, conceding just one goal.
Edson Alvarez, DF, Mexico — A star in the making. The 19-year-old Club America defender, who also plays center-back, featured as a right-back in the group stage and hardly looked out of his element. Capped Mexico’s 2-0 win over Curacao with a late goal.
Maynor Figueroa, DF, Honduras — While many back home are wringing their hands over Honduras’ scoring struggles (no goals in three games), Figueroa has guided the Catrachos‘ back line through a tricky group stage. At 34, he played all three matches and showed no signs of fatigue.
Jermaine Taylor, DF, Jamaica — The Reggae Boyz only allowed one goal in the group stage thanks in part to Taylor’s performance. His best display was the 0-0 draw against Mexico in which he cleared a ball off the line with a header. An excellent tournament thus far.
Francisco Calvo, DF, Costa Rica — The Minnesota United man scored the Ticos‘ lone goal in the 1-1 draw against Canada and was a steady presence at left-back in all three matches. Easy choice here.
Alphonso Davies, MF, Canada — Yowza. The co-leader in goals scored for the tournament, Davies has been outstanding. The 16-year-old Vancouver Whitecap announced his presence on the international stage by galloping past the French Guiana defense before nutmegging the goalkeeper for his first Canada goal. He then ordered up a…