When Coke and Valiente face off on Sunday for the Gold Cup title it will be for the second time in the 26 goal season. On March 12th Valiente managed to squeak out a one-goal 11 to 10 victory over a very determined Coke team. In their previous meeting last month, a powerful Valiente team destroyed Coke 12 to 3.
The statistics on both teams tell a very unique story on how each one has managed to get into the Sunday finals. The highest rated player on each team is not the one responsible for knocking in the most goals. Coke’s former 10 goaler, Miguel Astrada now rated at 9 goals, has scored nine goals in five games playing from the number four position. Julian de Lussaretta (7) has been a scoring machine for Coke this season. He’s responsible for 41 goals in 14 games.
The Valiente game plan has been to allow their star player, Adolfo Cambiaso, to play from the back, push the team forward and then pass downfield hoping to find Diego Cavanagh (8). The concept has paid off as Valiente arrives to the finals undefeated. Cambiaso has 35 goals in nine games while his primary pass receiver, Cavanagh, has racked up 53 goals in nine games.
Coke is coming into the Gold Cup finals as the underdog against a team with the world’s number one player and an unsurpassed depth of high quality horses. At the same time, Coke is on a roll after upsetting Orchard Hill in the semis on two decisive goals scored by de Lussaretta. It will certainly be an interesting game to close the US Gold Cup.