The 2021 Gold Cup has certainly lived up to expectations throughout almost a whole month full of mouth-watering games that had plenty of drama. The soccer community in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean was in for a treat for several weeks in which they enjoyed the action from the Concacaf's marquee competition.
The highly anticipated final between lifelong rivals, the United States and Mexico, was just the icing on the cake to wrap up a tournament that hogged the spotlight in July and concluded in the best possible way on August 1 in a packed Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Now that the competition is over, it's a good time to reflect on everything the 2021 Gold Cup left, such as the best performances from the different players who stole the show over the last few weeks. Therefore, in Bolavip we set up the best XI and coach of the competition. Let's take a look at it.
GK - Matt Turner (USA)
The New England Revolution's keeper faced a huge challenge having to step up as the USMNT's starting goalkeeper in the 2021 Gold Cup, but he responded remarkably well. To talk about the USA's road to the final and their subsequent title, we have to talk about Matt Turner's fantastic performances throughout the tournament.
He only conceded once in the way to the grand final and it wasn't a meaningful one as it came in a 6-1 victory over Martinique. His other five clean sheets were crucial to help his side winning the tournament as the USA won each of those games by 1-0.
RB - Shaq Moore (USA)
The Tenerife right-back had the opportunity to be among the starters in the USMNT lineup while Reggie Cannon wasn't eligible, and he seized it. Shaq Moore proved to be a serious option for the A squad as he has been solid at the right flank both in 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formations.
Moore's highlight in the 2021 Gold Cup could be his early goal in the USA's win over Canada in the final matchday of Group B, but his contribution to the team was way bigger than that specific action. Unfortunately, he was benched for the final, but he played a great tournament regardless.
CB - Miles Robinson (USA)
The hero of the final capped an outstanding participation in the tournament. One of the best takeaways for the USMNT from the 2021 Gold Cup was Miles Robinson's convincing performances throughout the whole tournament. The Atlanta United center-back has played every single minute on the road to the final and he was rock solid at the back to help the USA holding four clean sheets.
Robinson, 24, not only had a breakout level that helped his side making its way to the final but has also proven to be a serious option for the USA A-squad from now on. Berhalter said that one of the reasons why he took his B team to this tournament was to see where everybody stood. Well, Miles Robinson has responded perfectly, scored the winner in the grand final, and could be a dependable option for the long term.
CB - Hector Moreno (Mexico)
Some players do not seem to be affected by aging. Hector Moreno, at 33 years of age, has remarkably used his experience to lead Mexico to the 2021 Gold Cup final after sitting out the first two group matches.
Gerardo Martino has trusted in the veteran defender to step up when El Tri needed him the most, and he has certainly paid that confidence back. His worth became even clearer when he was forced off the final through injury, meaning a huge casualty for El Tri.
LB - Homam Ahmed (Qatar)
Asides from the two finalists, one of the teams that have undoubtedly won recognition in the 2021 Gold Cup was Qatar. The 2022 World Cup hosts have made a statement in their first-ever appearance in the Concacaf tournament and the 21-year-old Homam Ahmed was impressive at the left-back.
CM - Stephen Eustaquio (Canada)
Qatar's introduction was clearly remarkable, but so was Canada's performance in the 2021 Gold Cup. In what has been an unforgettable journey for the Canucks, Stephen Eustaquio has also played a brilliant tournament on his own.
The Pacos Ferreira star has scored an impressive three goals in the competition, including a stunning free-kick goal against Haiti on Matchday 2. Eustaquio has also helped Canada reach their first Gold Cup semis since 2007 by scoring one and providing an assist in the quarter-final matchup against Costa Rica.
CM - Hector Herrera (Mexico)
Arguably the biggest star in Mexico's squad following Hirving Lozano's injury, Hector Herrera has been one of the most consistent players in El Tri's campaign. The Atletico Madrid star didn't hesitate to step up and be the leader his team needed at this competition, despite he couldn't shine in the final.
Herrera, who wore the armband in three matches, has provided two assists in the group stage, but his best moment came in a crucial moment in the knockout round. When Mexico were struggling to beat Canada and the extra time seemed inevitable, Hector Herrera scored a last-gasp winner to fire his side to the grand final.
CM - Abdulaziz Hatem (Qatar)
Qatar were one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the 2021 Gold Cup due to their incredible performances and impressive results. Abdulaziz Hatem was one of the reasons why Qatar had such a strong run in the competition.
The central midfield has been influential in the team's offense and also had no problem when defending. Hatem scored in three straight games helping Qatar to seal massive wins over Grenada, Honduras, and El Salvador.
RW - Akram Afif (Qatar)
Another standout from Qatar's campaign was Akrim Afif, who had an immediate impact on Felix Sanchez Bas' team. He began the 2021 Gold Cup on the right foot scoring a goal and providing two assists in the 3-3 draw with Panama.
In the following match, he was once again on target against Grenada and set up another goal. Akram Afif arrived at the tournament as Qatar's most valuable player, and after his impressive Gold Cup performances, his market value will probably keep on rising.
ST - Almoez Ali (Qatar)
Qatar's performance in the 2021 Gold Cup not only has provided some of the best games in the tournament, but also many of its best players. Almoez Ali has completely stolen the show during the competition and was the 2021 Gold Cup top scorer.
The Al-Duhail player netted his first one against Panama in a six-goal thriller, then scored for the second game in a row in Qatar's 4-0 win over Grenada, but his greatest moment came in the quarterfinals. Ali bagged a brace that proved to be crucial to beat El Salvador 3-2 in a hard-fought game.
LW - Orbelín Pineda (Mexico)
Mexico's championship aspirations suffered a huge blow when Hirving 'Chucky' Lozano got injured on Matchday 1. But Orbelín Pineda immediately filled in his shoes in a way that few could have expected.
The Cruz Azul winger's stats in the 2021 Gold Cup speak by themselves: three goals and one assist since stepping in to replace Lozano. Pineda scored and set up another goal in the 3-0 win over Guatemala, then netted one against Honduras, and opened the score against Canada in the semifinals.
Coach - Gregg Berhalter (USA)
He may have surprised and even upset American fans by not taking his A-team to the Gold Cup, leaving out the likes of Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, among others. But Gregg Berhalter's decision still paid off, winning a memorable 2021 Gold Cup with a B squad that proved to be way better than expected.
The USMNT has had to sweat in almost every game but got the job done. Beating lifelong rivals Mexico in the grand final was just the icing on the cake for a team that has won respect game after game and that not only achieved a coveted trophy but also brought optimism for the future. Berhalter is obviously a key reason for this success and now has a deep squad to keep on paving the way to the 2022 World Cup.
GK - Maxime Crepeau (Canada)
GK - Alfredo Talavera (Mexico)
CB - James Sands (USA)
LB - Sam Vines (USA)
CM - Edson Alvarez (Mexico)
RW - Tajon Buchanan (Canada)
CF - Matthew Hoppe (USA)
ST - Gyasi Zardes (USA)