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USMNT Gold Cup Action!

Gold Cup Action

The USMNT started off the Gold Cup with just earning a disappointing 1 point against Panama on June 8th at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN. The match was played in the blistering heat that required hydration breaks but that did not stop new forward Dom Dwyer to score another goal for the US. Dwyer, only playing in his 2nd cap for the U.S, has shown the American Outlaws, Bruce Arena and the world that he is capable of being the man up in front representing the red, white and blue.

Arena’s 23 man team for this CONCACAF competition is filled with a short list of names then we are used to and a lot of new names, like Dwyer. Dwyer took a shot with his left foot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner at the 50’. Brad Guzan made lots of great saves that night but Miguel Camargo of Panama saw an opportunity at the 60’ when the ball was rebounded from a shot from his team. The USMNT back line played a disappointing match. Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi made bad choices and lost a few tackles, while Jorge Villafana let this guard down a few times letting Panama players get in from his side.

Arena and the American Outlaws expected more and hoped the team would give a better performance against their next appointment Martinique.

For the match against Martinique, Arena made 8 changes into the starting XI and in the first half of the match, the team was still a bit disappointing. A lot of chances made by Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris but no goals were made. When the second half started, things started to escalate.

The first goal was made by veteran Gonzalez (he was one of the 3 returners from the last starting XI). Gonzalez was able to take advantage of a rebound kick by Paul Arriola at the 54’. Morris doubled the lead at the 64’. The ball came down from the right side from Eric Lichaj who made a pass to the left while Martinique’s keeper, Kevin Olimpa, thought he was going to catch the ball Morris took that opportunity to run fast enough to tap the ball right past Olimpa’s gloves and into the back of the net. Kevin Parsemain, of Martinique, responded quickly and made a nice shot from 22 yards down the middle of the field and right under Brad Guzan’s hands at the 66’. Parsemain scored another great goal at the 74’. Johan Audel made a great attempted but was blocked by Guzan. The ball rebounded and Parsemain took advantage and chipped the ball right over Guzan. You can see the look of sadness and defeat from the U.S but they did not give up yet. Gyasi Zardes made a pass across the field to Morris who then took a shot from the center of the box to the top right corner within the same minute.

Martinique’s Jean-Emmanuel Nédra got the ball in the back of the net but was called offside at the 84’ and no more goals were made after that. The scored ended 3-2 and the USMNT made it to the top of Group B (Panama at 2nd, Martinique at 3rd and Nicaragua at last).

U.S’s back line still had trouble defending (hence, letting the team conceded 2 goals). Matt Hedges didn’t look well at all, losing a lot of tackles and Lichaj had some poor moments that led to Martinique chances. In the midfield, the players’ performances had their up and down moments. Zardes, Kellyn Acosta, and Arriola made lots of attempts but didn’t have a good rhythm. However, to our luck, we had Jordan Morris to the rescue! Next match will be against Nicaragua on Saturday and hopefully, Arena’s streak of 10 matches unbeaten is still going strong.

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