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The USMNT is Moving on Up!

USMNT

After being on a good terms with their new standing in their group (4th at the time) thanks to Bruce Arena, the USMNT felt confident going into their matches against Trinidad & Tobago on June 8th at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado and against their rivals Mexico in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico on the 11th for the 2018 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches.

The USMNT has a pretty good run when it comes to playing against Trinidad & Tobago for they have won numerous times over them, their last matchup ended 4-0 back last September. The first half of the match nothing great really happened. No goals nor cards were given out; every shot was blocked and/or saved. The opening goal was made by a player who has been given lots of names: the superstar, the prodigy, the wonder kid, the boy wonder, the future; Christian Pulisic. DeAndre Yedlin made a great cross to Pulisic who was surrounded by 2 of Trinidad & Tobago’s defenders but slid the ball right under them and their goalkeeper at the 52’. The kid with many names did it again, scoring 10 minutes later at the 62’. Jozy Altidore made a pass to Pulisic who ran towards the box. When he was in the penalty area, Pulisic found little space between the goalkeepers legs and that is where the ball went through. The match ended at 2-0 and every faith in Christian Pulisic has risen even more.

The trip to Mexico City, Mexico to play Mexico is going to go down in the memory books. Playing Mexico in the States is already difficult (their last match ended 1-2) so playing on their soil would be more of a challenge; the USMNT gladly accepted it. Fabian Johnson, Clint Dempsey (who is one goal away from equalling Landon Donovan’s record of 57 career goals for the USMNT and 2 away from being the country’s all-time leading scorer) and Tim Howard were benched and did not start for the USMNT, lots of judgements were made upon this decision by Arena but those disagreements in Arena’s starting XI were soon forgotten.

The game started out amazingly for the U.S. as captain Michael Bradley stunned Mexico and the rest of the world with a long run goal at the 6’. Bradley chipped the ball from 40 yards away and the ball went right over Mexico’s goalkeeper, Ochoa. Mexico’s Carlos Vela tied the match at the 23’. Vela found space between 5 U.S players from outside the penalty area where he struck the ball on the ground and although Brad Guzan dove for it the ball went right passed his hands. The matched ended at 1-1 and although the USMNT went home with 1 point that night, they added a new memory to their history and moved up one spot on the table.

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